Gabadinho Mhango wins the golden boot by sending Pirates to CAF CONFED CUP

Orlando Pirates secured a 1-0 victory over Stellenbosch FC in an Absa Premiership match at the Emirates Airline Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The victory saw the Buccaneers finish third on the league standings and they qualified for next season’s Caf Confederation Cup, while Stellies finished their debut season on the 10th spot.

Stellies got off to a bright start with speedy attacker Ashley Du Preez causing havoc for the Bucs defence with his clever movement.

The 23-year-old controlled the ball well in the eighth minute, before unleashing a shot which went narrowly wide of the target.

However, Pirates grew in confidence as the match progressed and they came very close to breaking the deadlock in the 17th minute.

Vincent Pule and Thembinkosi Lorch combined brilliantly before the latter set-up Frank Mhango, whose low effort was well-saved by Stellenboach goalkeeper Lee Langeveldt.

The Buccaneers upped the tempo with the half-time break fast approaching and they managed to break the deadlock through Mhango.

The Malawi international fired home to make it 1-0 to Pirates heading into the half-time break after Stellenbosch had failed to clear their lines.  

Pirates continued to attack after the restart and they had a chance to double their lead when Thabiso Monyane set-up Lorch in the 52nd minute.

However, the reigning PSL Footballer of the Year placed his effort over the crossbar from inside the box with the Stellenbosch defence exposed. 

Stellies coach Steve Barker introduced youngsters Jayden Adams and Ally Msengi as the visitors searched for the equalizing goal. 

They were awarded a free-kick a promising area and Marc Van Heerden unleashed an effort which was easily gathered by Pirates keeper Wayne Sandilands in the 81st minute.

Pirates then stood firm at the back in the closing stages of the match and ultimately, they emerged 1-0 winners over Stellenbosch. 

Mhango will share the Absa Premiership Golden Boot award with Highlands Park striker Peter Shaulile with both players having netted 16 goals this season.

Pirates (1) 1 (45’+3)
Stellenbosch (0) 0 

Pirates: Sandilands, Monyane, Nyauza, Jele, Mako, Ndlovu, Motshwari, Dlamini (Maela 63′), Pule, Lorch (Lepasa 79′), Mhango (Mabasa 79′ Makaringe 90′)).

Stellenbosch: Langeveldt, Robertson, Johannes, Mthethwa (Moon 82′), Mobbie (Van Rooyen 88′), Scott (Adams 71′), Sinkala, Moroole (Msengi 71′), Van Heerden, Du Preez, Skelem (Mbekile 82′).

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