Orlando Pirates were crowned Nedbank Cup Champions after beating Sekhukhune United 2-1 

Orlando Pirates were crowned Nedbank Cup winners after beating Sekhukhune United 2-1 in the final played at Loftus Stadium on Saturday evening.

Pirates had to come back from behind after Sekhukhune took an early lead through Sibusiso Vilakazi. A controversial penalty saw the Buccaneers level terms on the stroke of half time. 

Zimbabwean forward Terrence Dzvukamanja was the hero when he turned in a Monnapule Saleng cross into the net for the winner.

Here are five talking points from the encounter that was.

You can buy experience

Sekhukhune United have assembled a good team this season. The experience showed as they took the lead through Sibusiso Vilakazi. 

‘Vila’ is a veteran of many battles and has featured in many cup finals and would not have been fazed by the Pirates challenge. Kamohelo Mokotjo has played football at the highest level and will easily stand out in any game.

Daniel Cardoso and Edwin Gyimah have marshalled that Sekhukhune defence well. Of course, they were a bit unfortunate to concede a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Penalty decision will be a subject of contention for long

The penalty awarded to Orlando Pirates will be the subject of contention for the longest time. With Victor Letsoalo lying down, Thembinkosi Lorch deliberately pushed the ball towards his hands. 

Letsoalo, possibly hoping to stop play, held the ball before letting it go. The man in the middle pointed to the spot. Xoki made no mistake as he converted the penalty kick.

Xoki has become Pirates’ trusted penalty taker

On 18 March 2023, Xoki scored from the spot as the Buccaneers beat SuperSport United 1-0 as they chased a second-place finish. 

Against Sekhukhune, his well-taken penalty, albeit controversial, levelled terms. Lorch, Saleng and Nkosinathi Sibisi were all on the field, yet Xoki was the one who stepped up.

The former AmaZulu defender also wore the captain’s armband, with Innocent Maela starting on the bench. He handed it over in the second half when Maela was introduced.

Dzvukamanja secures Bucs future

Terrence Dzvukamanja would have secured himself a new contract ahead of next season. In January, the Zimbabwe international was on his way to SuperSport United for a loan spell. 

However, when given an opportunity to play, he sparkled and scored his eighth goal of the season in the Nedbank Cup final. 

His 90th-minute goal proved significant as it handed the Soweto giants their second trophy of the season. They won the MTN8 earlier in the season.

Sold out affair

The entertaining Nedbank Cup final was attended by 47231 people at the Loftus final.

FarPost

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