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Orlando Pirates v Stellenbosch Match Report, 2019/10/19

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T. Lorch (84)
Orlando Stadium
Orlando Pirates 1-0 Stellenbosch FC: Lorch finally off the mark
19:54 SAST 2019/10/19
Orlando Pirates players celebrate Thembinkosi Lorch goal
The attacker had not scored or assisted in any of his team's games this season but he ended his goal-drought in style at Orlando Stadium

Thembinkosi Lorch scored the only goal of the game as Orlando Pirates registered a hard-fought 1-0 win over Stellenbosch FC in the Last 16 of the Telkom Knockout Cup on Saturday night. 

Rhulani Mokwena was under immense pressure to win this one as the Sea Robbers have already missed out on two trophies this season - the MTN8 and the Caf Champions League

Pirates were expected to walk all over the PSL rookies, but this wasn't the case as it took the home side 83 minutes to beat Lee Langeveldt.  

Mokwena made a few changes from the previous teams as Wayne Sandilands, Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Paseka Mako all returned to the starting line-up alongside Vincent Pule and Linda Mntambo.

Pirates nearly broke the deadlock in the opening 17 minutes but Langeveldt came up with a big save to keep Stellenbosch in the game. 

While this was clearly a one-sided affair with Pirates creating goalscoring chances, their poor decision-making in the final third often let them down. 

At times, it was a matter of composure and this was evident when Mulenga let Stellenbosch off the hook as he missed a sitter - the Zambian's effort came off the woodwork. 

Tshegofatshe Mabasa and Pule also came close to breaking the deadlock but Pirates still couldn't find the back of the net. 

The missed chances frustrated Mokwena and the entire Bucs bench, but Steve Barker was always on the edge of his seat as his defence was often caught napping with Langeveldt the only man standing between the home side and a goal. 

Stellenbosch changed things around in the second half as Barker introduced Leletu Skelm and Robyn Johannes to try and contain Pirates. 

The duo didn't do much though as Pirates continued to attack and bombard the Stellenbosch box. 

However, as this was the case in the first-half, Langeveldt stood firm and gave nothing away.  

Lorch was denied by Langeveldt midway through the second half, and at this stage, Pirates fans out in the stands looked agitated as they didn't expect their team to miss so many goalscoring chances. 

At one point, Pirates had 27 attempts at goal with just seven on target while Stellenbosch hardly threatened Sandilands. 

On 83 minutes, Lorch fired Pirates ahead as he unleashed a thunderbolt from outside the box, much to the delight of the Pirates technical team. 

This was Lorch's first goal of the season across all competitions, and he'd hope to build from this performance and regain his last season's form. 

Langeveldt made a double save in the latter stages of the match, denying both Lorch and Mabasa to scoop the man of the match award. 

Ultimately, Pirates registered a narrow win to join archrivals Kaizer Chiefs in the quarter-finals.