Pirates edge Chiefs on penalties
Orlando Pirates defended their Carling Black Label Cup title as they beat arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs 5-4 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Abia Nale scored the opening goal after nine minutes but Benni McCarthy netted in the sixth and final minute of added time to take the match straight to penalties where Ndumiso Mabena scored the winning spot-kick following a number of misses from both sides.
Chiefs started the match well but it was the Buccaneers who had the first chance of the match as McCarthy got an early shot on target having latched onto a long ball from Siyabonga Sangweni.
Next up was Andile Jali, who tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the box but his effort was well blocked.
Chiefs began dominating play and looked comfortable on the ball but were unable to make any headway with Pirates defending well.
Mark Mayambela did well to create space for himself on the right hand side but was unable to keep his shot on target.
Thulasizwe Mbuyane then showed a neat turn of pace to beat Tefu Mashamaite on the left side of the box before smashing a shot into the side netting.
And with Pirates settling into a neat passing rhythm, Nale popped up with the opening goal. Bernard Parker found George Lebese on the left hand side and after a strong run he found Nale, who beat Lucky Lekgwathi to slid home the ball into an empty net.
The goal raised the intensity of the game and despite some good football by both sides, neither were able to create any real clear cut chances.
Mayambela came closest to restoring parity with a well-hit shot that flew just over the target before Lehlohonolo Majoro looked to break free down the middle of the park, however, he was denied by Rooi Mahamutsa who made a superb covering tackle.
Oupa Manyisa was reduced to trying his luck from distance but his 35 yard shot flew well wide of the target.
Sifiso Myeni then smashed high and wide from inside the box after the ball dropped kindly to him from a poor Thulasizwe Mbuyane cross.
And with the half winding down, McCarthy came close to finding an equaliser, but after a superb run by Sifiso Myeni and perfect cross, Siboniso Gaxa was there to hack the ball clear with the former Bafana striker just about to head the ball home.
A large number of substitutions disrupted play in the second half and while both sides were capable in midfield, they again struggled to carve out any clear-cut chances.
Some super interplay from Pirates saw Myeni released down the right hand side, but Reneilwe Letsholonyane was on hand to hoof clear his low cross with Mbuyane waiting to pounce.
Substitute Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa got down well to save a shot from Nale before Daine Klate headed across goal, looking for a teammate but Nkosi was well placed to head clear.
Sangweni should have done better with a header that flew wide of the target from a Klate free-kick.
And with the match winding down Pirates thought they had won a penalty as the ball appeared to strike Morgan Gould on the arm but the referee waved play on.
But with Chiefs seemingly ready to celebrate their first silverware of the new season, McCarthy popped up with a close range header following a Klate corner that was headed back across goal after being hit towards the back post.
With no extra time the match went straight to penalties and despite a number of players missing from both sides, it was Pirates who walked away with the trophy, winning the shoot-out 5-4.