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Polokwane City edge out Pirates out of the Telkom Knockout

Worth celebrating…Polokwane City celebrates their feat in the Telkom Knockout after they edged out Orlando Pirates out of the competition on Saturday night. Picture by Abbey Sebetha / BakonePix

POLOKWANE City beat Orlando Pirates 4-2 on penalties in a 2017 Telkom Knockout Cup quarterfinal match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night, as they subsequently booked their place in the final four.

The game was deadlocked at 2-2 after 120 minutes of football with all four goals coming in the first half of regulation time.

As a result, Rise and Shine join Bloemfontein Celtic and Bidvest Wits in the semifinals, while the Buccaneers bow out of the league cup.

Rise and Shine got off to the perfect start as they broke the deadlock two minutes into the match with the Buccaneers’ defence exposed.

Rodney Ramagalela played a beautiful cross for Rendani Ndou who headed home from inside the Pirates box to make it 1-0 to Polokwane.

The hosts then took control of the match with Musa Nyatama dictating terms in the middle of the park for the Buccaneers.

Pirates deservedly levelled matters through Ntsikelelo Nyauza, who punished the Polokwane defence, to make it 1-1 in the 13th minute.

Polokwane then conceded a penalty 12 minutes later after Pirates striker Thamsanqa Gabuza was fouled by goalkeeper George Chigova in the box.

Mpho Makola, Pirates’ set-piece specialist, stepped up only to be denied by Chigova, who sustained an injury in the process and he was duly replaced by Harold Ndlovu.

Bucs were left to rue that missed chance as Ndou completed his brace with a powerful low shot to make it 2-1 to Polokwane in the 41st minute.

But Rise and Shine were unable to hold onto their lead once again as Makola made amends for his missed penalty – making it 2-2 with a header in first-half added time.

The Buccaneers started the second half brightly, with Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin Sredojevic making his intentions clear as he introduced striker Thabiso Kutumela in the 58th minute.

The former South Africa Under-23 international tried to make an immediate impact, but he was denied by Ndlovu at the near-post.

Rise and Shine were happy to sit back and launch quick counter-attacks with Ndou and Ramagalela looking dangerous upfront for the visitors in the latter stages of the game.

The match ended in a 2-2 draw after regulation time and extra-time followed, with Pirates unable to capitalise on their dominance.

Wanye Sandilands produced a brilliant save to deny Sibusiso Mbonani in extra-time, while Ndlovu was forced into two great saves by Thamsanqa Gabuza. But, ultimately the game would be decided by means of a penalty shootout.

Polokwane duly emerged victorious with a 4-2 scoreline from the spot, after Pirates defenders Marc van Heerden and Nyauza missed their respective spot-kicks.

Orlando Pirates (2) 2 (Nyauza 13′, Makola 45’+3)

Polokwane City (2) 2 (Ndou 2′, 41′)

Polokwane City won 4-2 on penalties.

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Chabalala, Nyauza, Van Heerden, Matlaba, Nyatama, Makola (Rakhale 110′), Qalinge (Norodien 102′), Lorch (Kutumela 58′), Shonga, Gabuza.

Polokwane City: Chigova (Ndlovu 35′), Semenya, Ravhuhali, Mbonani, Maponyane, Seabi, Vilakazi, Klaas (Mngomezulu 56′), Ramagalela, Maluleke, Ndou (Booi 87′).

Meanwhile Bloemfontein Celtic and BidVest Wits also booked their place in the semi-finals of this competition after they overcame Platinum Stars and Baroka FC respectively.

Siwelele sa Masele edged out Dikwena with a 2-1 drubbing at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng while the Clever Boys narrowly escaped with a 1-0 victory over Bakgaga ba Ga-Mphahlele at the BidVest Stadium.

The last match of the quarter-finals takes place at the Nelson Madela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth wherein Chippa United rub shoulders with Kaizer Chiefs. Kick-Off is at 3.30pm.-Backpage TXT

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