Chipezeze stands tall

HARARE - Zimbabwe goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze was the star of the show when Baroka FC stunned Soweto giants Orlando Pirates 3-2 on penalties in the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup final at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Chipezeze and his teammate Talent Chawapihwa led Bakgaga to their first major silverware since their promotion in the 2016-2017 season.

The former Chicken Inn goalkeeper was over the moon after his heroics and attributed the victory to their heroic defensive performance that kept the lively Sea Robbers’ attackers quiet.  

“We said we needed to keep it tight at the back for the first 35 minutes. We knew Pirates were going to come at us so we just needed to keep it tight at the back,” Chipezeze told SuperSport after the game.

“We knew they were going to get frustrated and with the big crowd, it was going to work in our favour and we just kept on pushing and pushing.”    

With the match having finished 2-2 in regulation time, Chipezeze saved one penalty from Pirates forward Thabiso Kutumela while Musa Nyatama and Thembinkosi Lorch blazed over the cross bar.

Before those penalty saves, the former Chicken Inn goalkeeper had kept Bakgaga in the game with some crucial saves in regulation and extra time.

The match had been turned on its head just before halftime when Zimbabwe international defender Marshall Munetsi was shown a straight red card by referee Victor Gomes.

Munetsi went for a studs-up challenge on Baroka striker Jemondre Dickens in the 39th minute near the centreline.

To be fair to the Warriors defender, he got the ball first before striking Dickens with his trailing leg.

However, Gomes, who had initially wanted to book Munetsi, changed his mind after protestations from the Baroka players and bench before producing a red card.

With a man advantage, Baroka took the lead just before half time after a howler by Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.

The Sea Robbers’ shot stopper unnecessarily came off his line to cut out a cross but was unsuccessful leaving Dickens to volley home into an empty net.

In the second period, the Sea Robbers upped the tempo despite the being a man down and were level in the 57th minute.

Justin Shonga's free-kick hit the upright before Nyatama got to the rebound first to equalise for the Ghosts.  

From there on, the Sea Robbers were all over Baroka with Chipezeze proving to be the last line of defence.

The Zimbabwean made two great saves from Vincent Pule and Shonga. Chipezeze's late saves ensured that the game ended in a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.

Mpontshane’s nightmare continued in extra time when he brought down Onkabetse Makgantai inside the box and Gomes pointed to the spot.

Baroka regained their lead after captain Mduduzi Mdantsane dispatched the penalty kick.

But they could not hang on to the lead again as they allowed Lorch to head in at the back post following a cross from Shonga in the second half of extra time.

With no more goals in the remaining minutes, penalties had to decide the winner and Chipezeze stepped up to be the Baroka hero.

Bakgaga coach Wedson Nyirenda said: “We knew what to expect from Pirates they are a good ball distributing team, ball holding team and they can run.

“They did all they could but tactically we had planned to close their switch play and channels on the wings. There’s a deep ball they pass over the top and play it back and they can shoot.

"But we closed that. We also closed Pule today, he couldn’t manoeuvre so much. That is where our victory came.”

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Comments (2)

Goal keeping errors by the Orlando Pirates goalkeeper won Baroka the telkom cup.Baroka never managed to contain Orlando Pirates at any given time during the match.They must thank the blundering Pirates goalie for the cup victory.Orlando Pirates are a quality team that cannot be compared with minnows like Baroka fc.

widzo - 10 December 2018

The referee,Victor Gomes also had a hand in the Baroka victory.He red carded Munetsi when he was supposed to issue him a yellow card.If the referee's decision is final,why then did he consult a confused linesman.The second goal scored by Baroka from a penalty,it seems the Baroka striker tumbled over the Orlando Pirates goalkeeper without the ball.I wonder why Victor Gomes awarded Baroka a penalty.

widzo - 10 December 2018

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