Pirates reach second consecutive MTN8 final

Players of Pirates © Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates will have the chance to retain their MTN8 trophy this season, following a 1-0 defeat (2-2 on aggregate) against Stellenbosch FC in their second-leg semifinal clash at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Deon Hotto’s injury time winner in the first-leg proved to be a vital goal across both legs, with the Buccaneers advancing to the MTN8 final on the away goals rule.

A 22nd minute own goal by Zakhele Lepasa gave Stellenbosch hope in the tie, however, Pirates held on to cement their spot in the final, which is scheduled to take place on the 7th of October.

Pirates commenced the game on the front foot as they looked to settle on the ball early on. Stellenbosch on the other hand, attacked in moments, especially during counter-attacking situations.

Despite the Buccaneers bossing the possession count, Stellenbosch created a couple of notable scoring opportunities inside the first 20 minutes of the game, with Iqraam Rayners being the creator-in-chief for his side.

Stellenbosch opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, as the Cape Winelands side made the most of a corner situation. With Pirates unable to clear their lines successfully, Rayners collected the ball on the edge of the area before unleashing a shot that deflected off Zakhele Lepasa inside the box which dumbfounded the goalkeeper.

Deon Hotto came close to levelling the scoreline for his team five minutes before the break, as his curling effort from a free-kick to the right of the Stellies area was saved by Sage Stephens in goal.

Nevertheless, Stellenbosch headed into the break with a 1-0 score in their favour.

Stellenbosch edged the home team to the ball during the early exchanges of the second-half but provided little threat going forward.

However, Pirates looked threatening while going forward as the likes of Hotto and Paseka Mako linked up well inside the Stellenbosch half. Nevertheless, Pirates struggled to cap off their attacking moves and were let down by their finishing in the final third.

The Soweto club remained in possession of the ball at the 75th minute mark, while Stellenbosch were reduced to hitting the home team on the break.

Second-half substitute Evidence Makgopa came close to levelling for Pirates in the 89th minute as the attacker unleashed a shot from the right side of the penalty box that summoned Stephens into action.

While it was Stellenbosch who claimed a 1-0 win on the day, the Buccaneers reached the final of the MTN8 with two-away goals in their favour following a 2-2 final aggregate score.

Orlando Pirates: (0) 0

Stellenbosch FC: (1) 1 (Lepasa OG 22’)

Aggregate score: Orlando Pirates 2-2 Stellebosch FC

PIRATES: Chaine, Monyane (Shandu 74’), Mthethwa, Xoki, Mako, Baloni (Timm 74’), Ndlondlo, Saleng (Kapinga 46’), Maswanganyi, Hotto, Lepasa (Makgopa 85’)

STELLENBOSCH: Stephens, Sibande (Sekgota 70’) , Mcaba, Moloisane, Jurgens, Adams (De Jong 70’), Nduli, Palace, Titus (Boji 70’), van Wyk (Mgaga 46’), Rayners (Oura 63’)