Defending champions Marumo Gallants marched in to the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals after they beat Orlando Pirates 5-4 on penalties at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday night.
The round-of-16 encounter finished 1-1 after extra time as Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo’s 20th-minute opener was cancelled out by Bandile Shandu 10 minutes later.
Bahlabane Ba Ntwa converted five of their seven spot-kicks, with the Buccaneers missing three of theirs to crash out of the tournament.
Pirates created by far the better chances in the first half as they looked to make a fast start and settle the cup-tie early on.
They threatened after just five minutes through Olisa Ndah, who steered a header wide of the right post from a corner, while Zakhele Lepasa’s attempt from inside the area drifted to the right of the target on 10 minutes.
Richard Ofori was first to be tested though, as Ndlondlo lined up a shot from range that drew a save out of the Pirates keeper on the quarter-hour mark.
The hosts were presented with a golden opportunity to break the deadlock five minutes later when Joseph Malongoane went down under a challenge from Happy Jele inside the box.
Ofori guessed the right way, but Ndlondlo placed his spot-kick beyond the Ghanaian’s reach into the bottom-left corner of the net to open the scoring.
The Soweto giants looked for a quick response as Paseka Mako and Lepasa cleared the crossbar with their respective efforts before Shandu restored parity on half-hour mark.
The defender tucked his shot beyond King Ndlovu after being played in by Lepasa to register his second league goal of the season.
Ndlovu was well placed to deny Monare six minutes before half-time after the midfielder had linked up smartly with Deon Hotto to fashion a shooting chance for himself.
Hotto was a whisker away from giving the visitors the lead three minutes after the restart when his free-kick came back off the right post and Kwame Peprah fired straight at Ndlovu on the rebound.
Ndlovu made a more routine save on 64 minutes as Ndlondlo went for goal with a free-kick from a very long way out and he was called into action again two minutes later to keep out Katlego Otladisa’s strike from inside the area on the right.
Kabelo Dlamini went close with a shot from range that flew just wide of the right post on 70 minutes before Thembinkosi Lorch had a pop from outside the box moments later that needed saving.
Gallants had two chances late on to snatch victory in normal time, with Ndlondlo pulling an effort narrowly past the left post from distance on 85 minutes, while Malongoane forced Ofori into a comfortable save with his strike from outside the area in stoppage time.
Tshegofatso Mabasa came closest to scoring in extra time when his venomous shot from inside the area on the left crashed against the bar on 99 minutes.
Ofori kept Bucs in the contest with two minutes left on the clock as he pulled off a superb save to prevent Ndlondlo’s free-kick from finding the back of the net.
The shootout went to sudden death after Malongoane and Ndah missed their respective spot-kicks and Ndlovu saved Terrence Dzvukamanja’s attempt from 12 yards out before scoring the decisive penalty.
Marumo Gallants (1) 1 (Ndlondlo 20′ PEN)
Orlando Pirates (1) 1 (Shandu 30′)
MARUMO GALLANTS: K. Ndlovu, M. Mvelase (D. Manaka 44′), N. Nhlapo, A. Nkili (T. Gumede 33′), L. Mabotja, J. Malongoane, C. Ngema (S. Kumalo 94′), M. Timm, K. Otladisa (S. Sibeko 94′), S. Dion (L. Lamola 94′), N. Ndlondlo.
ORLANDO PIRATES: R. Ofori, B. Shandu (A. Mabaso 86′), O. Ndah, H. Jele, P. Mako, G. Mosele, T. Monare, Z. Lepasa (T. Mabasa 60′), K. Dlamini (T. Dzvukamanja 105′), D. Hotto, K. Peprah (T. Lorch 70′, L. Mntambo 105′).
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