Pirates dig deep to sneak into Nedbank Cup quarters

By Michael Madyira

Thembinkosi Lorch’s extra-time strike sealed a 2-1 victory and sent Orlando Pirates to the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals past Venda Academy FC on Saturday.

Lorch grabbed the winner in the 113th minute after Kermit Erasmus put the Buccaneers ahead on 24 minutes before Edmore Chirambadare struck for Venda just after the halftime break.

As the contest appeared headed to penalty kicks, Lorch avoided the lottery and handed his side victory.

The result kept the Buccaneers in the Nedbank Cup, a trophy they last won in 2014.

Pirates coach Jose Riveiro made changes to his squad, Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo and Kermit Erasmus started while Terrence Dzvukamanja came on from the bench.

Deon Hotto almost thrust Pirates ahead but missed one-on-one with Venda goalkeeper Harold Ndlovu following a cool pass from Erasmus.


Shortly after, Erasmus broke the deadlock by heading in a cross from Hotto.

At the start of the second half, Riveiro pulled out Erasmus for Dzvukamanja as he sought to fire up his strikeforce.

But his plan did not work out after Edmore Chirambadare levelled matters four minutes into the second half.

On 64 minutes, Ndlovu was forced to desperately save from a Vincent Pule corner kick while action swung to the other end where Tapelo Xoki had to clear the ball off the goalline as Venda threatened.

Seconds later, Lorch hit the woodwork and a frustrated Riveiro then took off his substitute Dzvukamanja who had been injured for Evidence Makgopa. 

It was a drab encounter and Venda forced the contest into extra time as the Limpopo side fancied their chances.

Even in extra time, Pirates never showed the hunger to win and Rankoko Tau came close for the Limpopo visitors.

Xoki could not direct his header just after the break of extra time as Pirates struggled. 

Lorch then gave Pirates massive relief towards the end by finishing off a Makgopa flick.

Pictured above: Monnaoule Saleng take on Edmore Chirambadare 

Image source: Orlando Pirates

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