Lennox Bacela scored a brace and provided Oupa Manyisa with an assist as Orlando Pirates secured a berth into the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout
Lennox Bacela opened the scoring for Pirates during a frenetic first half, which saw Siyabonga Sangweni pick up what could be a serious Achilles tendon injury. During the four minutes of added on time, Mabhuti Khenyeza equalised for Black Aces, after Thabo Qalinge provided the striker with an assist.
Pirates’ profligacy in front of goal was the main theme of the second half, as the Buccaneers failed to net numerous chances.
However, Bacela was on hand once again to put Pirates into the lead in the 85th minute, netting from close range after a period of relentless attacking play. It was not the striker's last action of the game, as he set up Oupa Manyisa, who scored Pirates third and final goal of the night.
The sides traded blows in the opening ten minutes as Manyisa hit a long range effort over the bar and Segolela failed to trouble Nhlapo with a shot from inside the box.
It was then Black Aces’ turn, as striker Mabhuti Khenyeza narrowly missed the target with a header at the near post, followed by a low drive which brushed the left upright, during an electric start to the match.
Lennox Bacela almost profited from a miscued shot by Thabo Matlaba 15 minutes in, as his attempt from close range forced Nhlapo into a brilliant save. A minute later, Black Aces counter-attack created another chance, as Qalinge’s thunderbolt from range struck the woodwork.
The opportunities for an opening goal did not abate in the opening twenty minutes, as Daine Klate’s close range effort was denied by another excellent save from the in-form Nhlapo.
An Achilles heel injury for Siyabonga Sangweni calmed proceedings for merely a few minutes, as Ayanda Gcaba replaced the defender on the 26 minute mark.
Following the substitution Pirates finally broke the deadlock, when Bacela met Happy Jele’s cross and timed a diving header to perfection in order to beat Nhlapo with 30 minutes on the clock.
The Buccaneers looked to be ruthless in their pursuit of a quarterfinal berth in the Telkom Knockout, creating more chances as the first half came to a close. Daine Klate’s left-footed strike narrowly missed the target, while Manyisa’s attempted tap-in from close range failed to find the back of the net.
An injury to Black Aces defender Eduardo Ferreira late in the half displayed the intensity during the opening stanza, which ended in dramatic fashion as Khenyeza delivered the equaliser for Black Aces.
The former Kaizer Chiefs striker simply tapped in from close range after Qalinge beat the offside trap and provided him with a low pass in the box.
Both sides were more circumspect in the opening stages of the second half, but Pirates soon began to take control of proceedings, as Thabo Matlaba blasted an effort over the crossbar in the 55th minute and Andile struck the woodwork two minutes later.
The Buccaneers were unrelenting in their pursuit of a second goal, with Segolela the next to be denied by the frame of the goal 68 minutes in. Rooi Mahamutsa missed yet another golden opportunity for Pirates nine minutes later, as he headed wide after being found unmarked by Segolela’s corner kick.
Pressure mounted on Pirates as they failed to take their chances, with a flurry of shots being kept out by some desperate defending from AmaZanyoni during the 82nd minute. The constant pressure finally paid off for the Buccaneers, with Bacela netting his second goal three minutes later, firing home after some superb build-up play by Segolela and Klate.
Bacela's influence was felt once more at the game entered its dying embers, with the striker setting up Manyisa, who finished off the game in the 94th minute.