fbpx

CAF Confed Cup: Richard Ofori powers Orlando Pirates into semis

BY: Maurice Quansah
Richard Ofori celebrating his match-winning spot kick with his Orlando Pirates teammates

Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Ofori saved one penalty and scored the winner as South African giants Orlando Pirates beat Tanzania’s Simba 4-3 on penalties to reach the semi-final of the CAF Confederation Cup.

The game had to be decided on spot kicks after Pirates won the return leg of the quarter final duel 1-0 in at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday to tie the aggregate score at 1-1. Simba won the first leg in Dar es Salaam by a similar margin last weekend.

Wekundu wa Msimbazi had to play almost 30 minutes of the match with 10 men after Chris Mugalu was sent off following a VAR review on a studs up challenge on Pirates defender Olisa Ndah.

Orlando Pirates hoast Simba FC in johannesburg

The encounter was settled by a penalty shooout after it was tied 1-1 on aggregate after the two legs

On spotkicks, Simba had one penalty saved and another crash against the crossbar while Pirates missed one.

Jonas Mkude stepped up first for Simba and he saw his penalty saved by Ofori. Simba’s shot stopper Aishi Manula should have done better with Dean Hotto’s attempt as he seemingly had it gathered but he let it slip into the net.

Shomari Kapombe then scored Simba’s second and Gabadinho Mhango responded for Pirates. The home side were handed a massive advantage when Henoc Inonga sent his kick crashing against the crossbar.

Substitute Tshegofatso Mabasa then scored for Pirates to give them a 3-1 advantage. Meddie Kagere kept Simba in the hunt when he stepped up to score Simba’s fourth. Pirates now only needed to score their next to finish off the tie, but Kabelo Dlamini saw Manula save his kick to keep Simba alive.

Skipper Mohamed Hussein then stepped up to score Simba’s fifth and now left Manula to keep them alive, facing his opposite number Ofori. The Ghanaian kept his cool to slot home Pirates’ fifth and hand them the win.

In regulation time, Ofori didn’t have much to do with Pirates being the most attacking. In the opening half, Hotto, left back Innocent Maela and Ndah all had their efforts from range saved by Manula.

In the second half, Pirates stepped up and just a minute after Mugalu had been sent off, they broke the deadlock when Kwameh Peprah powered in a header after connecting unmarked to a Maela cross from the left.

With the goal, Pirates sought a second to win the game in regulation time but Simba managed to hold on to penalties despite their numerical disadvantage.