Saturday, 06 February 2021 17:32

Staff Reporter.

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

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 posed all the attacks as a low free-kick towards the inside-left of the area from Deon Hotto forced goalkeeper Xolani Ngcobo to parry for a corner-kick.

It was all Pirates closer to the break with Ben Motshwari firing a reverse pass from the near side by Mhango over the top before a low shot from Sipheshile Ndlovu brought a save off Ngcobo.

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.

Zinnbauer made three changes for Pirates minutes later as goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane, Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele and Terrence Dzvukamanja were introduced.

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

TEAMS:

Orlando Pirates:Ofori (Mpontshane 68'); Maela, Hlatshwayo, Jele, Sesane (Mntambo 82'), Monare, Motshwari, Ndlovu, Lorch (Dzvukamanja 68'), Hotto (Mundele 69'), Mhango (Dlamini 71').

Uthongathi FC:X.Ngcobo; Cele, Slawula, Nxadi, Dlamini, Hlongwa (S.Ngcobo 89'), Maleka, Ndlovu (Zwane 73'), Magawana (Shezi 89'), Maphumulo (Chaine 73'), Baloyi (Lesoua 66').