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2/6/2022 12:00:00 AM

Hotto fires Pirates into Nedbank Cup Last 16

Pic: Deon Hotto of Orlando Pirates celebrates his goal

Soweto giants Orlando Pirates made a bright start to the 2022 Nedbank Cup as they put in a professional performance to defeat AmaZulu 1-0 in their Last 32 clash at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

Pirates were the better side and led early in the second half through a well-worked goal from Deon Hotto, but were also grateful to goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane for making a penalty save to deny Usuthu captain Thapelo Xoki late on.

Hotto’s goal was beautiful in its creation, and a reminder of just what a quality player he can be on his day.

His neat one-two with Thabang Monare ended in a perfectly weighted pass into his path in the box, and he swiveled to fire past a helpless Veli Mothwa in the AmaZulu goal.

It proved the decisive moment in the game, but there were also other talking points.

Not least an incident on 22 minutes when Pirates midfielder Goodman Mosele appeared to handle the ball in the box as he slid to make a challenge on Augustine Mulenga. The referee ruled it was not a penalty.

Usuthu did get their chance from the spot with four minutes remaining when Abel Mabaso handled the ball in the box. There could be little argument over this decision.

But Xoki’s penalty was at a good height for Mpontshane and too close to the keeper, allowing him to make what was a comfortable save in the end.

As for the remainder of the match, Mosele headed wide with the goal at his mercy, before Ntsako Makhubela should have put Pirates in front when he had a shot from eight yards that he fired straight at Mothwa.

Thembinkosi Lorch might have doubled the advantage with 10 minutes to go when he was teed-up by Zakhele Lepasa, but once again he shot straight at the keeper.

Lepasa, a Nedbank Cup hero for TS Galaxy as they won the title in 2019, will be delighted with his cameo off the bench having only played seven minutes since December 2020 following long-term injury that kept him out for almost the entirety of last year.

 

LAST 32 RESULTS

Friday, February 4 

University of Pretoria (0) 2 (Maqoko 80’, Pheeane 81’) Chippa United 0

Richards Bay 0 Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 4 (Ralani 24, De Reuck 54’, Safranko 70’, Shalulile 88’)

 

Saturday, February 5

Swallows FC (0) 2 (Sasman 48’, Gamildien 52’) TS Sporting 1 (Fakude ??’)

TTM (0) 1 (Matete 68’) Lamontville Golden Arrows (0) 1 (Conco 75’)

After extra time; TTM won 7-6 on penalties

 

Sunday, February 6 

Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Hotto 53’) AmaZulu 0

 

LAST 32 FIXTURES

Wednesday, February 9

15h00: Venda Football Academy vs Africa All Stars

18h00: Maritzburg United vs SuperSport United

 

Friday, February 11 

15h00: Uthongathi vs Summerfield Dynamos 

18h00: Stellenbosch FC vs Baroka FC

 

Saturday, February 12

15h00: NC Professionals vs Mathaithai

15h00: Platinum City Rovers vs Sekhukhune United

15h00: Royal AM vs Cape Town City

18h00: Kaizer Chiefs vs TS Galaxy

 

Sunday, February 13

15h00: Black Eagles vs FC Sivutsa

15h00: Marumo Gallants vs Santos FC

15h00: Sinenkani FC vs Free State Stars  

 

TOURNAMENT STATS 

Matches Played: 5

Goals Scored: 12

Biggest Victory: Richards Bay 0 Mamelodi Sundowns 4 (Feb. 4, Last 32)

Most Goals in a Game: 4 – Richards Bay 0 Mamelodi Sundowns 4 (Feb. 4, Last 32)

 

GOALSCORERS 

1 goal – Siboniso Conco (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Rushine de Reuck (Mamelodi Sundowns), Sibusiso Fakude (TS Sporting), Ruzaigh Gamildien (Swallows FC), Lulama Maqoko (University of Pretoria), Tsepo Matete (TTM), Kamogelo Pheeane (University of Pretoria), Surprise Ralani (Mamelodi Sundowns), Pavol Safranko (Mamelodi Sundowns), Yagan Sasman (Swallows FC), Peter Shalulile (Mamelodi Sundowns)