Orlando Pirates booked their spot in the Nedbank Cup last-16 with a 1-0 win over Uthongathi FC at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

Gabadinho Mhango’s second-half strike proved enough for the two-time champions to advance into the next round at the expense of their GladAfrica Championship opponents.

Pirates controlled the early exchanges and conjured the first chance through Deon Hotto in the 19th minute. The Namibia international’s free-kick bounced off the wet surface but Xolani Ngcobo got behind the ball and made a smart save.

The Buccaneers continued to threaten and Siphesihle Ndlovu found space in the area in the 27th minute before taking aim at goal, but his left-footed shot was straight at the goalkeeper.

His namesake, Khethukuthula Ndlovu, had Uthongathi’s best chance of the match in the 61st minute, but the midfielder fired wide from a promising position.

He was made to rue that miss two minutes later as Pirates opened the scoring through Mhango. Hotto picked out the Malawi international who finished with aplomb from close range for his third goal of the campaign.

The Cane Cutters probed for the equaliser and created a chance through Sipho Chaine in the 80th minute. He turned inside the area before taking aim at goal but Siyabonga Mpontshane, who replaced Richard Ofori in the second-half, was alert to the danger.

Pirates came close to doubling their lead in stoppage-time as Thabang Monare watched his thunderous effort canon off the woodwork, but in the end it mattered little as the Soweto giants booked their spot in the next round.

Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Mhango 63′)

Uthongathi FC (0) 0

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