Wits send Pirates crashing out of Nedbank Cup
Orlando Pirates exited the Nedbank Cup at the last 32 stage through penalties for the second year in a row after losing a shootout against Bidvest Wits at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.
Lorenzo Gordino scored the winning penalty for Wits after the match had gone into extra time following a 3-3 draw.
Luvuyo Memela, Kabelo Dlamini and Zakhele Lepasa missed their spots for Pirates.
The Bucs came from two goals down in the first half but scored three times in the second half to complete a remarkable recovery.
With seconds remaining and with Pirates leading 3-2, substitute Gift Motupa scored with the last kick of the match to send the match to a penalty shootout.
Cameroonian centre forward Eva Nga Bienvenu had put the visitors ahead after 27 minutes with a well taken penalty and Deon Hotto doubled the lead on the stroke of half time as Wits enjoyed a 2-0 lead at the break.
But Pirates came storming back in the second half with goals from Thembinkosi Lorch and captain Happy Jele, sending the decent crowd into a frenzy.
Just when it looked like Wits had this match in the back pocket, Lorch pounced on a loose ball inside the box and reduced the deficit before Jele outjumped his marker to head home the equaliser.
Pirates thought they had the match wrapped up when Zakhele Lepabsa scored from the penalty spot just before the half time break of extra time.
But substitute Motupa had other ideas as he scored the equalising goal with the last kick of the match.
Having never trailed opponents or lost a game in the seven matches before this clash, it was the first time German coach Josef Zinnbauer showed frustration from his technical area.
He was pulling his hair in frustration after his team conceded a second goal.
Pirates visibly struggled for the fluidity they have come to be known for under the German tactician.
It was also the first time under the new coach that Pirates failed to score in the first half or concede two goals.
They dearly missed the form of the league’s leading goal scorer Gabadinho Mhango who sat out the match through suspension.
It has been smooth sailing since the German took over in December but a lot of things went wrong for Pirates in this match.
Zinnbaur was forced into a change after three minutes as right back Abel Mabaso left the field on a stretcher.
Alfred Ndengane came in and partnered Jele at centre-back with Ntsikelelo Nyauza moving to right back.
With his team trailing by two goals, Zinnbaur shuffled things a bit.
He took off left-back Innocent Maela for striker Justin Shonga with winger Vincent Pule moving to defence.