Orlando Pirates won the inaugural Carling Black Label Cup, beating Kaizer Chiefs 4-3 on penalties after the game had ended in a disappointing goalless draw. The match kicked off 30 minutes late due to supporters arriving late at the FNB Stadium.
|Oupa Manyisa © Backpagepix
The preseason match, which allowed supporters to pick the starting XIs and one player to substitute via SMS votes, was played at a high pace and intensity, though neither side looked particularly sharp in the final third of the field.
Chiefs could have found themselves reduced to ten men early on when striker Lucky Khune blatantly directed the ball into the back of Pirates’ net via his hand. Had the match been anything more than a preseason friendly, the younger Khune brother would surely have been sent off by referee Victor Hlungwani – instead he received only a yellow card.
The Amakhosi line-up featured no genuine defensive midfielders and their lack of balance in the middle of the park allowed Bucs to boss the game for most of the first half. Yet Chiefs almost snatched the lead against the run of play in the 26th minute when Sthembiso Ngcobo got away a snap shot from the edge of the penalty area, only for Moeneeb Josephs to pull off a good save low to his right.
Itumeleng Khune was only called on to make his first genuine save in the opening seconds of the second half, parrying a fierce drive from Bongani Ndulula straight up into the air before recovering it at the second attempt.
Chiefs introduced Tinashe Nengomasha after the break to add some ballast and physicality to their midfield, but his first contribution was an offensive one, putting Abia Nale through on goal with a great pass. Unfortunately for the team in gold and black, Nale was unable to beat Josephs.
The ‘supporter substitutions’ took place just under ten minutes after the restart, with strikers Chiukepo Msowoya and Sthembiso Ngcobo being voted off by Pirates and Chiefs fan respectively. The Buccaneers brought on winger Sameehg Doutie while Amakhosi gave new signing Bernard Parker his first outing in a Kaizer Chiefs jersey.
Neither side was able to find a goal in the 90 minutes, so the game went straight to a penalty shootout. After Pirates had converted four of their five penalties, it was left to Itumeleng Khune to try and keep Chiefs in the contest and send the shootout to sudden death, but he blazed his spot kick over the crossbar.
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Orlando Pirates 0 – Pirates win 4-3 on penalties
Chiefs: (4-4-2) I. Khune; Mashamaite (Ritchie 60’), Sweswe, Isaacs, Molekwane; Dladla (Mateba 71’), Letsholonyane (Nengomasha 46’), Tshabalala, Nale (Lebese 60’ [Sibeko 75’]); L. Khune (Majoro 40’), Ngcobo (Parker 55’)
Pirates: (4-4-2) Josephs; Jele, Mahamutsa, Lekgwathi, Cloete (Mjempu 90+3’); Mbuyane, Jali, Manyisa, Mayambela (Segolela 63’); Ndulula (Mabalane 82’), Msowoya (Doutie 54’)
Penalty sequence: (Pirates shoot first) Manyisa scores 1-0, Tshabalala scores 1-1; Jele scores 2-1, Parker scores 2-2; Doutie misses 2-2, Ritchie misses 2-2; Mahamutsa scores 3-2, Sibeko scores 3-3; Lekgwathi scores 4-3, I. Khune misses 4-3. Pirates win 4-3.