Zakhele Lepasa on a hat-trick as Orlando Pirates thrash Sekhukhune United 5-0 to reach MTN 8 semifinals

Hat-trick man Zakhele Lepasa powered Orlando Pirates to the semi-finals of the MTN8 after thrashing Sekhukhune United 5-0 at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

Pirates were dominant from the start playing entertaining, attacking football in front of their fans.

In-form Zakhele Lepasa bagged his first hattrick, Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo and Monnapule Saleng also found the back of the net.

It was a tight contest in the opening five minutes of the match as the two sides were trying to calm the nerves and settle into the game.

The home side grew in confidence in playing attacking football as they were searching for an early goal, however Babina Noko were solid at the back.

The first goalscoring opportunity came in the 10th minute for the visitors on Zephaniah Mbokoma. The Zambian international’s effort was off target and over the bar as he failed to connect to the cross.

In the 15th minute, goalkeeper Sipho Chaine came to the Bucs rescue following a blunder at the back.

The Soweto giants finally broke the deadlock 21 minutes into the match through Zakhele Lepasa, thanks to an assist by Patrick Maswanganyi.

Just before the hour mark, Lepasa came close to doubling his tally but his shot from outside the box went wide.

In the 42nd minute, Monnapule Saleng had a brilliant opportunity to make it 2-0 but the ball was intercepted by the defenders.

Moments later, the Sea Robbers were on the counter-attack, Saleng’s ball was intercepted and fell to Lepasa who hit the woodwork. Rookie midfielder Relebohile Mfokeng then forced Badra Sangare to make a save.

The scoreline remained unchanged for the remainder of the first half, despite Pirates’ efforts to add another goal.

At the beginning of the second half, Pirates thought they had made it 2-0. Nkosinathi Sibisi’s headed effort was ruled out for offside.

52 minutes into the match Sekhukhune United missed an opportunity to level matters from the spot.  Chibuike Ohizu’s strike hit the woodwork.

The Bafana Bafana striker, Lepasa, completed his brace scoring a rebound after Saleng’s shot came off the post.

The hosts were in cruise control, and Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo was the next to put his name on the scoresheet just before the hour mark, thanks to Saleng’s assist.

In the 62nd minute, Saleng made it 4-0 finishing on a second attempt from close range. In the 79th minute, Lepasa missed a penalty following a foul on Deon Hotto. 10 minutes later he made amends as he completed his hat-trick.


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