Wits were made to sweat in a heated encounter as Arrows went two goals up, against the run of play, after just 24 minutes, before coming back to draw level in regulation time, only to have to repeat the comeback in the penalty shootout.
Many fans – even those donning other teams' regalia – came out to the Bidvest Stadium to witness the former Bafana Bafana captain's return to the PSL, and were eventually treated to the sight in the 84th minute.
After coming on in place of another debutant and PSL returnee Daylon Claasen, Pienaar looked slightly off the pace of the frantic affair that saw three red cards and three coaches being sent off the pitch.
The 35-year-old admitted he struggled to adjust in his first game, but felt the most important thing was that the team managed to advance to the next stage of the competition.
"It's hard coming off the bench in the first game after a few weeks, but it's always good to get the minutes under the belt," said Pienaar after the match.
"We struggled the whole game. When you chase the game after 20 minutes, at 2-0 down, it's always hard but compliments to the guys – we stuck at it.
"At the end of the day the most important thing was to get through to the next round."
The former Everton stalwart, who spent 16 years across some of the top leagues in Europe, conceded that proceedings were demented and it was a relief to come from behind both in regular time and in sudden death of the shootout.
"It is crazy, especially when you miss the first two penalties and, like I said, we were chasing the game from after the first 20 minutes," he added.
"We had three good opportunities in the first half and if we scored those three then it would have been game over, but with their first opportunity they scored.
"At the end of the day it's a cup game, the most important thing is that we got through by hook or crook, so I'm happy and so is everyone else."