Bidvest Wits are through to the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup after beating Orlando Pirates 3-2 on penalties in what was a thriller at Orlando Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Pirates started on the front foot but the ‘Students’ were awarded a penalty in the 28th minute for a handball by Fortune Makaringe inside the box, which Eva Nga calmly slotted into the bottom corner for his first goal in Wits colours.
Just as Pirates kept mounting the pressure in the latter stages searching for an equaliser, Gavin Hunt’s men caught them on a counter-attack to doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time with a beautifully taken goal by Deon Hotto.
The away side started the second-half like a house on fire with Eva Nga nearly getting the third goal for Wits but was denied by the woodwork in the 55th minute.
‘Bucs’ had a series of opportunities, throwing everything at Wits with Vincent Pule and Zakhele Lepasa missing from close range.
Out of frustration, a fan threw a beer bottle onto the pitch.
However Pirates eventually a goal Thembinkosi Lorch in the 69th minute to make it 2-1.
five minutes later ‘Bucs’ scored the equaliser through their captain Happy Jele with Wits under great pressure.
The drama-filled encounter ended 2-2 in regulation time.
On the stroke of half-time in extra-time Lepasa make it 3-2 to Pirates.
There was drama on the sidelines as ‘Bucs’ coach Josef Zinnbauer received a yellow card while Wits goalkeeper coach Paul Johnstone received a straight red for lashing out at the referee.
Gift Motupa scored the equalising goal for Wits in the dying minutes of extra-time to make it 3-3.
Lorenzo Gordinho fired home the winning penalty for Wits.
By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
at Orlando Stadium