Tlou Segolela scored the only goal of the game, securing Bucs a third win over the Brazilians this season after their ‘double’ over the Tshwane team in the League.
Bucs played with 10-men for much of the second half after having Happy Jele red carded.
Pirates had an upper hand in the first half, but both teams played their hearts out, providing the yard stick to measure who has the gumption to come out victorious, but neither Pirates or Sundowns raised their hands as they both failed to break the deadlock in the first half, and the score was goalless at half time.
Credit should also Sunodowns’ Wayne Sandilands, who was the busier of the two ‘keepers. The Sundowns goal-minder stood between Pirates and their quest for an opening goal with his great reflexes that saw his side surviving the embarrassment of going into the break one, two, or three goals down.
Mabhuti Khenyeza nearly grabbed the lead for Sundowns, but his shot went across the goalmouth in the 39th minute.
Pirates came back strong after the break, moving forward in numbers trying to unlock the Sundowns defence. They were awarded a penalty after Thapelo Tshilo was adjudged to have handled Katlego Mashego’s goal-bound shot in the 58th minute, but the Pirates striker disappointed when his spot kick was parried back into play by Sandilands.
But the Sundowns joy was short-lived, as Pirates anticipated the rebound and Tlou Segolela was at hand to break the deadlock with a blistering shot in the 59th minute, sending the stadium into frenzy. For his splendid performance, Segolela walked away with the Man of the Match award.
There was drama two minutes later when Pirates’ Happy Jele was red carded by the referee for a second bookable offence.
Nevertheless, the goal galvanized Pirates and the hitherto dejected supporters, who had endured more that 50 minutes of anxiety until the deadlock was broken.
Sundowns’ coach, Ian Gorowa made some changes with the hope that his charges might change the situation, but the ten men of Pirates stood firm, held onto their lead, and the status quo remained the same at full time.