Leopards came into the encounter on the back of a four-match unbeaten run, while Pirates were unbeaten in nine games in all competitions before the clash.
Asavela Mbekile, Innocent Maela, Musa Nyatama, Thembinkosi Lorch and Xola Mlambo lined-up as the five alterations for the Buccaneers, as Leopards saw only two switches.
The first opening arrived after 14 minutes when Mwape Musonda was given an opportunity to let rip on the volley, but the final effort went over the top.
The Sea Robbers kept their cool despite the slow start and were awarded a free-kick on the half an hour mark. Zambian ace Justin Shonga took it upon himself to take the resultant free-kick and he made no mistake with a telling finish to give the visitors the lead against the run of play.
The joy was short-lived though after Musonda capitalised on poor handling from Jackson Mabokgwane to restore parity for the home side.
In added time, Shonga received a big chance to put the Ghost back in the lead but from close-range, the Zambian forward fired over the top.
The second half got off to a slow start an In the final 20 minutes, King Ndlovu showed his resolve when he pulled off a breathtaking save to deny Thembinkosi Lorch from grabbing the headlines with a snap-shot.
Ndlovu was at it again when he prohibited Mako from restoring the away side’s lead with a save from point-blank range in the final quarter.
No rest bite was afforded to Leopards following another big save from Ndlovu which kept Mako from finding the net from point-blank range in the final minutes.
Selfish play from Shonga prevented the Buccaneers from going in front in the last three minutes when the former hit the side-netting than teeing-up his teammates in better positions.
With no goals forthcoming, extra-time was needed to try and separate the two outfits, although chances were few and far between on both ends.
In the second half, Leopards were brought down to ten men when Lehlohonolo Masalesa was sent off for a second bookable offence as a penalty shoot-out would decide the winners.
January signing Alfred Ndengane missed for the Buccaneers in sudden death while Joseph Mhlongo sent Mabokgwane the wrong way to take Lidoda Duvha into the last 16.
Leopards: Ndlovu, Mudau, Zulu, Munganga, Masia, Masalesa, Bereng, Kapinga, Musonda, Mahangwahaya, Hlongwane.
Subs: Muleka, Ndou, Ndlovu, Nene, Tshepe, Mokoena, Mhlongo.
Pirates: Mabokgwane, Jele, Ndengane, Mbekile, Maela, Mlambo, Nyatama, Mako, Pule, Lorch, Shonga,
Subs: Sandilands, Munetsi, Maphangule, Motshwari, Mntambo, Mahchi, Gabuza.