Orlando Pirates are MTN 8 Champions

Orlando Pirates ended a six-year trophy drought by clinching the MTN8, coming from behind to defeat Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1 in the final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

Josef Zinnbauer’s men went into the clash dubbed favourites after a dominant run-in to the final, where they scored six unanswered goals.

The worst start the Soweto Giants could have wished for came true, as they were almost immediately forced to chase the game.

It took all of four minutes for Celtic to take the lead through Siphelele Luthuli, whose acrobatic effort from close range made it 1-0.

It would take until after the half-hour mark for the Buccaneers to equalise, with Deon Hotto snatching a loose ball from a scramble inside the Celtic box to get his first goal in Pirates colours.

As the clock approached the halfway mark, Zakhele Lepasa could have given Pirates the lead as he was released by Fortune Makaringe but did not make enough of a connection to turn the ball into the net.

If the start of the first half was nightmarish for the Buccaneers, the first few minutes of the second were the stuff of dreams as Celtic’s Ronald Pfumbidzai was adjudged to have pulled Thembinkosi Lorch down inside the box.

A red card was handed out to the culprit, with a penalty awarded to the Sea Robbers. 

Lorch stepped up, sending Jackson Mabokgwane the wrong way to hand his side the lead for the first time in the encounter.

It was then time to shut things down, but that turned out to not be a straightforward mission with Celtic not giving up, despite their numerical disadvantage.

The Buccaneers, however, weathered the storm, emerging victorious to claim their first trophy since 2014.

Starting XI: Ofori (GK), Hlatshwayo (C), Nyauza, Jooste, Maela, Motshwari, Monare (24′ Lorch [87′ Ndlovu]), Makaringe, Hotto, Pule, Lepasa (90′ Mabasa)

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