JOHANNESBURG — Orlando Pirates successfully defended their Carling Black Label Cup as they beat arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs 5-4 on penalties at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night.
Abia Nale had scored an early goal and Benni McCarthy replied with a dramatic late equaliser to send the match into penalties.
Pirates converted their shootout strikes through Rooi Mahamutsa, Oupa Manyisa, Daine Klate, Siyabonga Sangweni and Ndumiso Mabena.
An effort from regular time hero Benni McCarthy was saved by Arthur Bartman, while Siyanda Gcaba’s kick came off the woodwork.
Chiefs converted through Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Kaizer Motaung Junior, Josta Dladla and Kingston Nkhatha, while Lincoln Zvasiya, Siyabonga Nkosi and Keegan Ritchie all missed.
Ironically, Ritchie also fluffed the deciding kick in the competition’s first installment last season, when Pirates had also prevailed on penalties.
However, the Buccaneers snatched the intense clash from Amakhosi’s grasp this time around, with Chiefs seconds away from winning the trophy.
In front of 92 702 spectators at the Nasrec venue, Chiefs had taken an early lead through Abia Nale, who netted in the 10th minute from a George Lebese supply from the left flank, with the Pirates defence caught napping.
McCarthy then headed in an injury time equaliser with the last play of the match from a Daine Klate corner kick.
The highly anticipated Soweto derby clash again called for fans — and not the respective coaches — to vote for the starting line-ups and a substitution to be made in each team.
While the match itself was far from a classic, with players still searching for match fitness, it produced moments of entertainment.
Chiefs showed some enterprising play, but were guilty of holding on to the ball, while they showed they could be a threat with cohesion when on the counter-attack.