Platinum Stars see off Pirates to lift the MTN8 Cup
Platinum Stars beat Orlando Pirates 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw to lift the MTN8 Cup in the final that was played in a rainy Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday night.
The win gives Platinum Stars their first silverware since 2007 and they needed a penalty shoot-out to take the MTN8 cup home. The first three well taken penalties by Dikwena were enough to win them the final while Pirates scored only one of their first four penalties and they will lick their wounds after they were the favourites to win this cup.
It was an exciting draw especially after the second-half when Robert Ng’ambi opened the scoring and gave Platinum Stars the lead after a goalless first-half but their lead were cancelled out by first-half substitute Thabo Matlaba who scored a spectacular long range goal to make sure the match goes to extra-time.
Orlando Pirates coach Roger De Sa started with Andile Jali who was cleared to play after he was once reported to be out for six months while Platinum Stars star midfielder Mokgokolodi Ngele started from the bench.
Bucs captain Lucky Lekgwathi could only watch from the stands and midfielder Sfiso Myeni who was ruled out for the final after failing to pass a late fitness test.
This was the first time both sides met in the final and Platinum Stars were the first team to threaten just three minutes into the match when Siphelele Mthembu got past to Pirates defenders before his shot was deflected wide for a corner.
After that early chance, both teams failed to create clear-cut chances with Orland Pirates being closed down by Stars until the 20th minute when Kermit Erasmus had a go from far but his shot untroubled Siyabong Mpontshane in goals.
Kermit Erasmus had a chance to create a goal for his side three minutes later when he turned with Platinum Stars defender and skipper Vuyo Mere but his cross was well cleared out for a corner by Tshepo Gumede.
The Buccaneers were gaining confidence midway through the opening half and they came close again the 29th minute when that man Kermit Erasmus was set clear on goal by a pin point pass from Daine Klate but he made to many turns before he saw his shot sail over the bar.
Orlando Pirates suffered a setback when their on-form defender Patrick Phungwayo picked up an injury and he was replaced by Thabo Matlaba with five minutes left before the break. Oupa Manyisa’s long range shot was easily saved by Siyabonga Mphotsane as Orlando Pirates searched for the opener.
Both teams headed to the dressing rooms locked at 0-0.
The second-half started in style when Platinum Stars broke the deadlock when Tintswalo Tshabalala’s cross from a set-piece was flicked by Benson Mhlongo in the path of on form midfielder Robert Ng’ambi who made no mistake from close range and headed in to give his side the lead just two minutes after the break.
Orlando Pirates almost equalised in the 49th minute but Happy Jele’s header went over the bar after he connected with Thabo Matlaba’s cross from the left flank. Then Kermit Erasmus took too long to unleash a shot at goal when he was setup by a header from Lennox Bacela four minutes later
The trailing side had the ball in the back of the net in the 64th minute when Kermit Erasmus connected with a trough pass from Happy Jele and shot past onrushing Siyabonga Mpontshane but his goal was disallowed and ruled offside even though the replays showed he was onside.
Platinum Stars coach Allen Freese sent in Botswana international Mokgokolodi Ngele in place of Patrick Malokase as he looks to get an insurance goal. Orlando Pirates had a penalty appeal turned down when substitute Joseph Molongoane looked to have been clipped by Elias Ngwepe with fifteen minutes left before full-time.
But the home side were back on level terms in the 81st minute when Thabo Matlaba was setup by Joseph Molongoane not far from the area and he unleashed a left-footed thunderbolt from 25-yards that beat Siyabonga Mpontshane to send the thousands of fans inside the stadium into a frenzy.
Both sides then pushed forward to find a winner inside normal time but a 1-1 full-time score meant extra-time was needed to try and separate both teams.
Orlando Pirates started better in the beginning of extra-time and they almost forced Stars to concede an own goal when Benson Mhlongo’s clearance following a shot from Lennox Bacela went a whisker wide of goal with goalkeeper Siyabong Mpontshane extremely wrong footed just three minute into the extra-time.
Dikwena brought on former Orlando Pirates striker Takesure Chinyama in the space of Siphelele Mthembu in the 99th minute. But it was Orlando Pirates that almost grabbed the lead three minute before the break when Thabo Matlaba made a great run on the left hand side in the counter attack but his low cross in was met by Joseph Molongoane who failed to make a simple tap in from close range.
Orlando Pirates appealed for another penalty when substitute Ndumiso Mabena went down in the area but the referee of the night Robert Smith was not interested just four minute after the break. Then Thabo Matlaba had a go from long range but Mpontshane was alert to deal with his effort easily.
Platinum Stars were able to close down Orlando Pirates and push forward to find a winner but they also scrambled when they get in the final third. The match ended 1-1 after extra time and the penalty shoot-outs followed.
Platinum Stars sent Vuyo Mere, Henrico Botes, Mokgokolodi Ngele for their first three penalty kicks and they never disappointed while Orlando Pirates scored the first penalty through Andile Jali but missed their next three penalties with Rooi Mahamutsa, Ndumiso Mabena and Lennox Bacela failing to find the target.
Orlando Pirates line-up: Meyiwa, Jele, Phyngwayo (Matlaba 39’), Mahamutsa, Sangweni (C), Manyisa, Klate (Mabena 81’), Segolela (Molongoane 60’), Jali, Bacela, Erasmus.
Platinum Stars line-up: Mpontshane, Mere (C), Mhlongo, Gumede, Ngwepe, Tshabalala, Sarr, Msomi (Botes 86’), Malokase (Ngele74’), Ng’ambi, Mthembu (Chinyama 99’).