• Five things learned as Baroka break Pirates hearts in TKO

    Thabiso Semenya of Baroka FC and Thabiso Kutumela of Orlando Pirates

    Orlando Pirates came from behind twice with ten-men but ultimately lost to Baroka 4-3 in a penalty-shoot out in the Telkom Knockout final. FourFourTwo SA writer DEAN WORKMAN has picked out five things we learned from the encounter.

    1) Pirates have a fighting spirit

    After Marshall Munetsi’s inexplicable challenge earned him a deserved red card in the 40th minute, Pirates were forced to play a large part of the 120-minute encounter a man down.

    Despite this numerical disadvantage Pirates showed great character to fight back from a goal down not once but twice to help force the game to extra-time.

    They may have failed in the penalty shoot-out, losing 4-3 to Bakgaga, but the fighting spirit shown by Milutin Sredojevic’s side bodes well for their prospects of ending that dreaded trophy-drought sooner rather than later.

    2) Pirates Keeper’s continuing to cost them

    Sredojevic has chopped and changed his goalkeepers this season, with arguably every single one of his shot stoppers having made high-profile errors.

    Siyabonga Mpontshane got the nod for Saturday’s final but unfortunately for the Buc’s stopper he was at fault for both of Baroka’s goals. Mpontshane went flying off his line for a cross he was never reaching which allowed the opposition into score their opener, before a mistimed challenge in extra-time resulted in the keeper giving away a penalty, which was duly converted.

    One of the bases of a great side is a top-quality goal keeper and until the Sea Robbers manage to secure a top-quality keeper, these types of errors are expected to reoccur.

    3) Baroka make history

    In a real David vs Goliath story, Baroka earned their giant killers tag by pulling off a remarkable victory over their more famous opponents.

    With all the focus on Pirates aiming to end their four-year trophy drought, the side from Limpopo did exceptionally well to deal with the pressures of a final, and of course the penalty-shoot out, to reign supreme in Port Elizabeth and win their first ever Telkom Knockout, while the wait for silverware at the Orlando Stadium continues.

    4) Bakgaga clinical, Buccaneers wasteful

    Despite being a man down Sredojevic’s side had the better of the opportunities throughout the game with Thembinkhosi Lorch, Augustine Mulenga, Justin Shonga and Vincent Pule all failing to take chances which would of turned the tie in Pirates favour.

    Baroka on the other hand were clinical in the encounter, taking advantage of the openings they were afforded on both occasion in the game.

    If Pirates had shown a more lethal streak in front of goal at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium there may just have been a different outcome.

    5) Chipezeze the hero

    Elvis Chipezeze made himself and instant club legend at Baroka with his performance against Pirates. The 28-year-old shot stopper not only came out trumps in the penalty-shoot out but also played a vital part throughout the 120-minute encounter.

    Chipezeze pulled off a string of saves both before the end of regulation time and then again in the added period to help force the game to penalties.

    When the dust settles this encounter could be viewed as a tale of two keepers, one the hero, Chipezeze, and another the villain, Mpontshane.

    Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

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