Pirates win MTN8 Final

Oupa Manyisa was once again the hero for the Buccaneers, scoring early in the second half of extra time in a match that saw few goal scoring opportunities created.

Pirates have now won four of the last five trophies on offer and this victory over Amakhosi is their first over their arch rivals in a cup final since 1988.

Goal mouth action was pretty rare in the first half of regulation time, with the teams more or less cancelling each other out in the middle of the park. Chiefs’ Tinashe Nengomasha was perhaps the most prominent player, bossing the midfield battle against Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa.

Yet a half in which a defensive midfielder is the best player tells its own story: fluent attacking play was hard to come by and neither team was able to create any meaningful chances.

Strikers Ndumiso Mabena and Lehlohonolo Majoro each had headed attempts in the first half for Pirates and Chiefs respectively, but neither troubled the goalkeepers.

The second half was far more entertaining and it was the Buccaneers who took charge of the game, dominating possession and forcing Chiefs onto the back foot.

Defender Siyabonga Sangweni had two free headers which he should have scored from – one he put over the target, and the other forced Itumeleng Khune into a fine save.

Amakhosi rarely threatened after the break, but substitute Sthembiso Ngcobo twice came close to breaking the deadlock, forcing Moeneeb Josephs into a good save with a low shot before glancing a header just wide of the near post.

As the clock ticked into injury time at the end of the regulation 90 minutes, controversy struck. Bongani Ndulula headed home what appeared to be a winner for Pirates, but referee Victor Hlungwani adjudged the young striker to have pushed Dominic Isaacs in the back – a decision that appeared harsh on television replays.

Extra time followed a similar pattern to the 90 minutes before, but finally, on 107 minutes, Pirates broke the deadlock. Oupa Manyisa – who scored a long range screamer in the second leg of the semifinal against Mamelodi Sundowns – again struck from long range.

The midfielder’s effort skidded off the turf and burst past the arms of Khune, who would have seen the ball late but still should have kept the shot out of his net.

The goal proved decisive, with Chiefs simply unable to summon enough reserves to bring themselves back into the game.