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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

MTN 8: Orlando Pirates slice and dice Sekhukhune to qualify for semifinals

Orlando Pirates ran riot in the second half to move far beyond reach of Sekhukhune United, dominating their opponents for a 4-0 victory in Saturday’s second quarterfinal match at the MTN 8. Zakhele Lepasa scored a hat-trick for the Bucs and strikes from Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo and Monnapule Saleng completed the victory against an overwhelmed Sekhukhune side who conceded three goals in the opening twenty minutes of the second half.

Sekhukhune are a difficult team to break down under head coach Brandon Truter but the Limpopo club were no match for the firepower of their opponents on Saturday. Pirates opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when Patrick Maswangayi won the ball off Sekhukhune defender Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya in the penalty area before crossing low for Lepasa to fire in from close range.

The early stages of the second half made all the difference in the outcome of the match. Out of nowhere a penalty kick opportunity arrived for Sekhukhune after forward Chibuike Ohizu was taken down by Paseka Mako but the Nigerian put his spot kick off the post. Less than three minutes later the lead was doubled for Pirates when Lepasa was on hand to turn home after Saleng’s shot hit the post.

Lepasa’s second set off a total meltdown for Sekhukhune, who were soon three goals down after Saleng set up Ndlondlo for a deflected effort past goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangaré. A dominant performance from Saleng saw him finally rewarded with a goal less than four minutes later when he finished from close range after a low cross from the right flank caused all sorts of issues for the Sekhukhune defense. Lepasa failed to convert a penalty kick later on but completed his hat-trick in the final minutes with an easy finish from a Deon Hotto cross.

Highlights of the match are below.