It was without a doubt the most exciting Nedbank Cup last 32 match this past weekend as the 10-man Bidvest Wits beat Orlando Pirates 3-2 on penalties following a six-goal thriller after extra time.
Wits led 2-0 at half-time through Eva Nga and Deon Hotto’s goals but the Bucs responded in the second half through Thembinkosi Lorch and captain Happy Jele’s goals.
The game went to extra-time and Zakhele Lepasa netted from the penalty spot but substitute Gift Motupa had other ideas as he equalised right at the death to send the game to penalties. Wits head coach Gavin Hunt.
Coming to this game, Bucs coach Josef Zinnbauer had made a couple of changes to his starting line-up, bringing back the French goalkeeper Jorris Delle and also starting Lepasa upfront.
When they finally took the lead in the extra-time and with a one-man advantage, this is the time when Pirates should’ve managed the game better. Zinnbauer says they learnt their lesson in this match.
Wits were reduced down to 10 men when substitute Elias Pelembe was sent-off for dissent by the no-nonsense referee Victor Gomez but they continued to fight and clinched the game on penalties.
Earlier they also had their assistant coach Paul Johnstone sent-off, Hunt says they always win the tough way against Pirates.
This result means that Pirates could now finish this season trophyless again unless something dramatic happens in the Absa Premiership where they are nine points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs with Amakhosi having a game in hand.
Despite losing in this game, Zinnbauer says he’s proud of his players’ performance in this game.
– Report by Velile Mnyandu