Connect with us


DOMESTIC FRONT: Pirates Win Nedbank Cup, COSAFA Cup Returns, CT Spurs Take Control Of Play-Offs

Pro Philani looks back on Pirates’ Nedbank Cup success, shines a light on the return of the COSAFA Cup and runs the rule over the promotion/relegation play-offs as Cape Town Spurs take control of proceedings.

Terrence Dzvukamanja of Pirates Nedbank Cup
Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Pro Philani looks back on Pirates’ Nedbank Cup success, shines a light on the return of the COSAFA Cup and runs the rule over the promotion/relegation play-offs as Cape Town Spurs take control of proceedings.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Pirates end season on a high after Nedbank Cup Success

Orlando Pirates were crowned the Nedbank Cup champions for the ninth time after defeating Sekhukhune United 2-1 at a packed Loftus Versveld in Pretoria.

This was Pirates’ second trophy this season having won the MTN8 in Durban against AmaZulu in November last year. They also finished second on the log which translates to a successful campaign for Jose Riveiro’s side.

The Nedbank Cup journey wasn’t always smooth sailing for Pirates as they needed extratime and penalties to get thorugh earlier rounds.

Without a doubt, the final at Loftus was a sold-out affair, but the footballing side was a little bit of a disappointment as both sides had little imagination in their approach to play.

Sekhukhune United went ahead as early as the 12th minute when Sibusiso Vilakazi pounced off a defensive error at the back to give Babina Noko the lead against a run of play.

Sekhukhune striker Victor Letsoalo would bizarrely handle inside his own penalty area to give Pirates a chance to equalise from the spot. Thapelo Xoki made no mistake front 12 yards out as the sides went into the sheds level at the break.

The second half saw both sides making substitutions in order to influence the game. Riveiro made substitutions in the second half that were spot on. Pirates took charge of midfield from the control of midfield maestro Kamogelo Mokotjo and started dominating and controlling alongside Ndlondlo and Timm.

Sekhukhune United tried with Mncube and Mahlangu to inject pace and frustrate Pirates but it was the defensive prowess of Nkosinathi Sibisi that kept them at bay for the better part of the match. Substitute Kabelo Dlamini’s long pass found Monnapule Saleng behind Nyiko Mobbie who fed a well-placed cross for striker Terrence Dzvukamanja to tap in a winner in the dying embers of the game.

Despite losing, Sekhukhune United will be proud of their achievement of reaching their first cup final, thus qualifying for CAF Confederation Cup 2023/24 season and finishing in the top eight. 

Cape Town Spurs take control of play-offs

Cape Town Spurs took an early advantage in the Relegation/Promotion playoffs at the Solomon Mahlangu stadium in KwaMhlanga against fellow Motsepe Foundation Championship side Casric Stars.

Spurs had better chances on the day strikers Ashley Cupido was guilty of errant finishing.

Casric Stars never really showed up on the day, despite the crowd cheering in their favour. Among those who were cheering Casric were TS Galaxy boss, Tim Sukazi and his club fans who came in numbers to support another Mpumalanga-based outfit in their quest to qualify for DStv Premiership.

Spurs, on the other hand had finished as runner-up in the Motsepe Foundation Championship, after slipping up on the last day of the season before allowing Polokwane City a chance of gaining promotion to steal the league title and automatic promotion.

In the second half, Shaun Bartlett’s side increased the intensity on transition play and were duly rewarded when man of the moment Cupido snuck in at the far post to give the Cape side the lead – a goal which looked to have silenced the crowd.

Casric Stars tried throughout the rest of the match to find an equaliser but it was never meant to be.

Joseph Mthombeni, Casric Stars coach would need a better plan to turn their playoff around when they visit Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Playoff games are played by two teams that finished second and third in the Motsepe Foundation Championship log and a side that finished 15th in the DStv Premiership season.

Games are played on home and away basis with a side finishing with the most points either retains their status or earns promotion to the Premiership

Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup returns to eThekwini

The Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup returns to Durban on 5 July until 16 July. Defending champions Zambia will take on Malawi, Seychelles and Comoros in their pool following in the competition’s new format.

The format for this year will see the teams drawn into three groups of four sides, with the top side in each pool advancing to the semi-finals along with the best-placed runner-up.

Host nation, South Africa, who won the previous editions’ Plate Final will tackle Namibia, Eswatini and Botswana in Pool A, and the final pool sees Mozambique, Angola, Mauritius and Lesotho going against each other.

The tournament has given opportunities to players who ply their trade in the local leagues to test themselves on the international stage. Scouts from across the continent have also used this tournament to look for talent that can be exported to European small countries and to top PSL clubs.

The matches will be held at the King Zwelithini Stadium, in uMlaza, and the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, in Clermont.

Register Now with Hollywoodbets Mobile

More in PSL