Nedbank Cup - Orlando Pirates 3-3 Bidvest Wits (2-3 pens): Students edge Bucs to reach Last 16

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The retired player reflected on Bucs' second defeat to the Students this season having lost 4-3 to Gavin Hunt's side in a league clash last September
The retired player reflected on Bucs' second defeat to the Students this season having lost 4-3 to Gavin Hunt's side in a league clash last September

Bidvest Wits showed character as they fought back to defeat Orlando Pirates 3-2 on penalties following a 3-3 draw in the 2019/20 Nedbank Cup Last 32 match on Sunday afternoon

Josef Zinnbauer made three changes to the Bucs side which faced and defeated Chippa United last weekend with Joris Delle, Siphesihle Ndlovu and Lerato Lepasa making their return to the starting line-up. 

On the other hand, new signings Lorenzo Gordinho and Kgaogelo Sekgota were handed their debuts by Gavin Hunt as the Clever Boys looked to return to winning ways after losing to Mali's AC Djliba last weekend.  

Wits made their intentions clear very early when Bienvenu Eva Nga sent Deon Hotto through on goal with a header, but somehow the latter placed his shot wide of the target from close range. 

The visitors were then awarded a penalty after Fortune Makaringe was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box while trying to stop Wits playmaker Haashim Domingo. 

Cameroonian marksman Eva Nga made no mistake from the spot-kick as he beat Pirates goalkeeper Delle to make it 1-0 to Wits two minutes before the half-hour mark. 

Pirates then took control of the match, but they could not take their chances as Thembinkosi Lorch and Lepasa both had chances which they failed to convert from inside the box. 

The hosts were left to rue those chances as Hotto made it 2-0 to Wits when he fired past Frenchman Delle with a low shot having outmuscled Ndlovu on the stroke of half-time. 

Wits were deservedly leading 2-0 during the half-time break having taken their chances against a lethargic Pirates side. 

Wits did not sit back and defend after the restart as Eva Nga came close to grabbing his brace when his powerful header hit the upright with Delle rooted to the ground. 

Zinnbauer decided to make a tactical change - pulling out left-back Innocent Maela and introduced striker Justin Shonga as the Soweto giants looked to pull one back. 

The move paid off as Pirates scored after Luvoyo Memela set-up Lorch, who fired past Wits shot-stopper Ricardo Goss with a well-taken shot to make it 2-1 in the 69th minute. 

The momentum was with Bucs and Memela, who was pulling the strings in midfield, grabbed his second assist when his free-kick was headed home by Happy Jele to make it 2-2 with 13 minutes left. 

A courageous Pirates side then pushed for a late winning goal, but Wits were solid at the back and the match ended in a 2-2 draw in regulation time and extra-time followed.

An action-packed additional goal saw Wits denied a penalty when Gift Motupa was fouled by Jele in the box and almost immediately at the other end, Pirates were awarded a penalty after Memela was fouled by Phathutshedzo Nange. 

The visitors were then reduced to 10 players as Elias Pelembe was sent off for dissent and Lepasa stepped up and made it 3-2 to Pirates when he converted from the spot-kick.

However, former Bucs striker Gift Motupa had other ideas as grabbed a late equalizer with a low effort deep into stoppage time to make 3-3 and the goal took the match into a penalty shootout. 

Wits went on to book their place in the Round of 16 after securing a 3-2 win on penalties with Gordinho converting the last penalty and Pirates bowed out of the competition.

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