Orlando Pirates’ CAF Champions League journey ends in penalty heartbreak

Orlando Pirates Maswanganyi in action
Credit: Icon Sport

Orlando Stadium hosted Orlando Pirates vs Jwaneng Galaxy CAF Champions League leg two of round two clash on Friday evening.

The Sea Robbers entered the match 1-0 behind on aggregate from the first leg which took place two weeks ago in Gaborone. Jose Riveiro and his team knew the key battles that must be won in order for the club to make it into the group stage.

After a fiercely contested affair at the Orlando Stadium that ended tied on aggregate after 90 minutes, Pirates eventually got heartbroken during the penalty shootout that ended 4-5 in favour of Jwaneng Galaxy.

Mofokeng missed the fourth spot kick for the Bucs to hand advantage to Jwaneng Galaxy who scored the decisive last penalty through Benson Mangolo to get into the Group Stage of the CAF Champions League.

Let's delve into the match review:

Jwaneng Galaxy with the aggregate advantage at half-time

Pirates began the game with good intentions to score the first goal as they kept hold of the ball and got the first real chance of the game in the 10th minute.

The game’s first shot on target was provided by Paseka Mako, who pushed down the middle from the left before drawing a fine save from the goalkeeper Phoko.

The Buccaneers continued to probe as Thabang Monare drew another save from the keeper with a firmly-struck shot from long range.

The upfield players for Jose Riveiro continued to charge down Jwaneng Galaxy's backline with Maswanganyi, Lepasa, Erasmus and Ndlondlo all trying their luck from close range but none went in.

The first half at the Orlando Stadium concluded with no goals scored, despite the home side’s early dominance.

Evidence Makgopa levelled the aggregate score for Orlando Pirates

Riveiro introduced Kimvuidi for Ndlondlo at the start of the second half as his team fought to level up the aggregate score.

The Bucs continued their search for a goal as Deon Hotto’s ball from the left connected with Lepasa, but the striker was unable to send the ball into the back of the net in the 55th minute.

More changes were made in the 60th minute which saw Lepasa hooked off for Evidence Makgopa and Bandile Shandu came on as well for Thabiso Monyane.

And just six minutes later, Makgopa made an immediate impact as his shot at goal was deflected over the line to level things on aggregate for Orlando Pirates!

The rest of the second half witnessed no other goal and the match went straight to penalties after a 1-1 aggregate score.

How Jwaneng Galaxy triumphed on penalties

In the penalty shootout, Deon Hotto stepped up for the first kick, and had no trouble putting Pirates in the lead.

Wendell Rubath levelled matters from the spot for Galaxy: 1-1.

Sibisi was next on the spot, and placed the ball beyond Phoko’s reach into the bottom corner.

The visitors however levelled as Thabang Sesinyi found the net: 2-2.

Xoki took Pirates third penalty and sent Phoko the wrong way.

Masuku for Galaxy made no mistake as he dispatched to make it 3-3.

Mofokeng stepped up to take the hosts’ fourth penalty and was denied!

Jwaneng then took the lead for the first time in the shootout as Ofori was beaten! 3-4!

Maswanganyi then took the last kick for the Bucs and scored to keep Pirates in the contest.

The onus now fell for Benson Mangolo to become a hero and he didn't disappoint to make it end 4-5 on penalties in favour of Jwaneng Galaxy!

Pirates were looking to return to the CAF Champions League Group Stage for the first time since the 2018/19 season, but failed in the shootout.

In what was the Buccaneers fourth encounter with Galaxy, having won twice in the CAF Confederation Cup group stage playoffs in 2021, and losing the first leg of this tie, Riviero's men failed in their most important match so far this campaign.

Orlando Pirates vs Jwaneng Galaxy Starting XI

Here is how both coaches opted to line up:

Orlando Pirates

Chaine; Mako, Monyane, Sibisi, Xoki; Ndlondlo, Monare, Maswanganyi, Hotto; Lepasa, Erasmus.

Substitutes

Ofori; Ndah, Mofokeng, Shandu, Kimvuidi; Kapinga, Makgopa, Saleng, Timm.

Jwaneng Galaxy

Phoko; Sechele, Leinanyane, Thulare, Mpolokang; Mangolo, Masuku, Baruti, Moyo; Sesinyi, Msendami.

Substitutes

Gaolebale; Keredilwe, Chicco, More, David; Ngomo, Dube, Popo, Rudath.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago

Joseph is a graduate engineer turned sports writer, he has covered lots of sports stories, match previews and predictions across various leagues on the planet.
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