Free State Stars...................... 0
Orlando Pirates continued with their winning form from a cup tie in the Telkom Knockout against Highlands Park two weeks ago, after beating Ea Lla Koto Saturday night.
Augusto Palacios made one change in a starting line-up in this encounter which played to a 2-1victory over the Lions of the North in an away clash.
The interim coach brought in Bafana Bafana international Jackson Mabokgwane, who had been struggling for game time following his arrival at the club earlier this season.
Leading up to this match, Palacios had stated that no player was going to walk into his starting line-up and that his players would need to prove their worth to be in his squad.
Saturday night proved that he was not playing when he left out Brighton Mhlongo who was not even on the bench for the match. It was Siyabonga Mpontshane who was deputising for Mabokgwane in goal.
Against Kaizer Chiefs in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals, Thela Ngobeni proved to be a match winner for Free State Stars with his heroics between the sticks. In this encounter, The Ea Lla Koto shot-stopper found it a bit difficult to repeat that same feat. Pirates’ players came motivated in search for a win. They created plenty of chances. They gave is his defensive line a hard time to clear off most of the attacking moves they created. Ngobeni was forced to make three consecutive saves in a space of three minutes in the first ten minutes of the game. His defensive line lacked the require speed to neutralise Pirates’ attacking third. They were soon to be punished for that.
Tendai Ndoro scored a beauty of a goal, following a brilliant turn he made inside the area. The striker shook off his marker before he slotted past Ngobeni who was a fraction of a second late to make the required save. A few of Pirates’ supporters who had come out to watch the match, roared in celebrations as their side took the lead.
The visiting side created a few chances of their own, however, lacked the venom required in front of goal to punish their opponents. Striker Moeketsi Sekola was the main culprit. His attempts at goal never tested Mabokgwane who was making his debut for the Sea Robbers between the sticks. He was an Achilles heel for his team. He couldn’t feed off the scoring opportunities they presented him with. He struggled terribly.He couldn’t score.
In the second period, Pirates continued with their enterprising football moving forward with the hope of increasing their lead. However, goals wouldn’t come this time around. Ndoro, who was present with a decent amount of chances, however, failed to add to his one goal he had scored in the first period. His shots either went off target or Ngobeni was well position to make the required save.
Original source: Ndoro goal secures the points for Pirates