Orlando Pirates went down 2-1 to Bidvest Wits in their MTN8 quarterfinal clash at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday night.
In the early stages of the encounter, the Clever Boys piled on pressure as early as the 12th minute when Thabang Monare tried a long range effort, but goalkeeper Felipe Ovono produced a fine save.
However, against the run of play, the Buccaneers were awarded a penalty when Wits skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo fouled Tendai Ndoro in the box.
Pirates captain, Oupa Manyisa stepped up in the 16th minute to send goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs the wrong way, handing Muhsin Ertugral’s men a deserved lead.
Gavin Hunt’s men kept knocking on Pirates’ door, chasing an equaliser, but Ovono was the man to deny them, making a number of saves from dangerous crosses through Daine Klate.
Then Wits’ defender Buhle Mkhwanazi headed home a set piece from Frank Mhango’s corner in the 38th minute. It was 1-1 at the interval.
Upon their return, Pirates nearly made it 2-1 as Ndoro hit the woodwork after a wonderful pass from Abbubaker Mobara with Josephs beaten in the 47th minute.
However, with less than 15 minutes to go, Ovono spilled Monare’s shot. He pushed the ball straight into Hlatshwayo’s path in the box, and the defender made no mistake in finishing from close range.
In the last four minutes, Ndoro received a great ball from the right wing in what was their final chance, and the Zimbabwean attempted a spectacular bicycle kick to score an equaliser, but it narrowly went wide.
The loss for Pirates means they are now out of the Wafa Wafa competition, following Platinum Stars and Kaizer Chiefs.