Buccaneers sail past Swallows
Orlando Pirates beat Moroka Swallows 2-0 in an Absa Cup last 32 match played at Olen Park in Potchefstroom on Saturday evening.
The match provided some fine end-to-end football from two teams who had clearly taken up the attitude that attack is the best form of defence.
It was not until the 25th minute that a genuine goal-scoring chance was created, with Japhet Zwane stabbing a shot wide of goal after the Pirates defence had failed to adequately deal with a cross from Cecil Oersen.
Swallows goalkeeper Greg Etafia was nearly embarrassed in the 35th minute, when he allowed a Rudzani Ramudzuli cross to drop near his far post. He needed the presence of Patrick Mabedi to deny Mulondo Sikhwivhilu a goal.
Pirates took the lead in the 36th-minute from the resultant corner-kick, Jabu Mahlangu's floating cross was met by Lucky Lekgwathi who headed home to put Pirates 1-0 ahead.
By this stage it was Pirates who were on top and Etafia was soon forced into two stunning saves, denying the dangerous Sikhwivhilu on both occasions.
Swallows should have drawn level on the stroke of half-time after Zwane provided a peach of a cross for the unmarked Mame Niang, but the Senegalese beanpole somehow put his header over the cross-bar and the 'Birds' went into the half-time break a goal behind.
However, Pirates doubled their lead 14 minutes into the second half, with Mahlangu latching onto a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area. Mabedi was unlucky to deflect the Pirates midfielder's shot after Etafia was sent the wrong way.
Niang had a great chance to pull a goal back two minutes later when the lanky striker was again left unmarked on the far post, and was picked out by Zwane, only to put his diving header wide of the goal.
Pirates held on to their two-goal lead despite Swallows ending the match with no less than four genuine strikers in Niang, Chalwe and substitutes Evans Gwekwerere and Sibusiso Dlamini on the pitch.
Referee Ace Ncobo's final whistle after four minutes of added time brought scenes of joy for the Pirates camp and their supporters, whilst Swallows will have to wait until next year to have another crack at the trophy they last won in 2004.
Moroka Swallows (4-4-2): Greg Etafia (GK), Rudy Isaaks, Patrick Mabedi, Bevan Fransman, Lovers Mohlala; Cecil Oersen (Evans Gwekwerere 58), Lefa Tsutsulupa, Jaulani Mendu (Mark Haskins 71), Japhet Zwane (Sibusiso Dlamini 89), Mame Niang (captain), Songwe Chalwe.
Coach: Gavin Hunt
Orlando Pirates (4-4-2): Francis Chansa (GK), Lucky Lekgwathi, Lehlohonolo Seema, Lucas Thwala, Innocent Mdledle, Rudzani Ramudzuli, Bongani Cashibe, Benedict Vilakazi (captain), Jabulani Mahlangu (Fikru Tefera 87), Manuel Bucuane, Mulondo Sikhwivhilu.
Coach: Bibey Mutombo