POLOKWANE — Collins Mbesuma scored twice as South African football giants Orlando Pirates advanced to the Telkom Knockout last-eight at the expense of Black Leopards with a 2-0 win on Saturday.
The victory at the Peter Mokaba Stadium saw Pirates on top for the entire 90 minutes.
Leopards played the whole of the second half with 10 men after Thulani Ntshingila was given a second yellow card and sent off in the 39th minute. The defending Ziwa Mo champs started strongly, with debutant Lehlogonolo Masalesa sending in a perfect cross which was headed home by Mbesuma after just five minutes.
Mbesuma could have doubled the advantage soon afterwards, but was foiled by Lidoda Duvha keeper Postnett Omony after having turned sharply in the box to create the opening.
With 30 minutes gone, Omony again came to his side’s rescue as he denied Mbesuma.
Rodney Ramagalela then had a rare chance for Leopards when he went close with a long-range effort that neatly caught out Moeneeb Josephs.
Mbesuma continued to threaten the Leopards goal and after the break he should have scored after getting on the end of Patrick Phungwayos inviting cross, but sent a header wide.
With most of the game taking place in the Leopards half, Moeneeb Josephs did well to remain alert as most when he tipped Mongezi Bobe’s shot over the bar with 13 minutes to go.
Mbesuma was at it again two minutes later when his parting shot glanced the outside of the post, but in the 80th minute the Zambian finally bagged his brace and sealed the game when he netted from a low cross supplied by Ndumiso Mabena.
SuperSport United came back from a goal down to eventually see off Ajax Cape Town on penalties after their Telkom Knockout last-16 encounter finished 1-1 after extra-time.
Maritzburg United also needed penalties to eventually edge Moroka Swallows to progress to the quarter-finals. Free State Stars got their campaign off to a flying start as they saw off Golden Arrows 3-1.—TEAMtalk Media