Orlando Pirates thrash Crystal Lake to progress in Nedbank Cup

Orlando Pirates thrash Crystal Lake to progress in Nedbank Cup

Orlando Pirates dominated the Nedbank Cup Last 16 encounter against Crystal Lake, delivering a resounding 6-0 victory at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

The Buccaneers exhibited their intent from the outset, with three strategic changes to the line-up, including the inclusion of Karim Kimvuidi, Relebohile Mofokeng, and debutant Thalente Mbatha, setting the stage for an electrifying performance. Notably absent was Monnapule Saleng from the squad.

The match ignited in the fourth minute as Olisa Ndah's precise header, deflected off Adam Khumalo, found its mark, propelling Orlando Pirates to an early 1-0 lead from a corner.

Maintaining their momentum, Tapelo Xoki capitalized on a penalty opportunity in the eighth minute, doubling the Buccaneers' advantage after Evidence Makgopa was fouled in the box.

Pirates continued to dominate, with Mofokeng extending the lead to 3-0 in the 11th minute with a well-placed shot from the left side of the box, courtesy of an assist from Innocent Maela.

Patrick Maswanganyi further solidified Pirates' lead with a clinical finish in the 33rd minute, showcasing precision with a left-footed shot to the bottom corner.

Entering the second half with unwavering determination, Xoki secured his brace in the 51st minute with a commanding header from a corner, amplifying the scoreline to 5-0 in favour of the Soweto giants.

As the match progressed, fresh legs were introduced by Spanish coach Jose Riveiro, with Tshegofatso Mabasa, Lesedi Kapinga, and Vincent Pule adding depth to the Pirates' line-up.

In the closing stages, Mabasa left an indelible mark, sealing Pirates' victory with a well-timed header at the near post from a corner delivered by Kapinga.

Despite Crystal Lake's sporadic attempts on the break, Pirates' defensive prowess, highlighted by a crucial save from Chaine, ensured a clean sheet and a seamless progression to the round of 16, solidifying their status as formidable contenders in the Nedbank Cup.

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