26 Apr 2015 10:30am
WINDHOEK, 26 APR (NAMPA) Namibia Premier League (NPL) giants Orlando Pirates Football Club reached their first-ever Bidvest Namibia Cup Finals at the expense of their arch rivals African Stars after a penalty shootout.
The match was played at the cathedral of football, the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Katutura on Saturday.
African Stars have won the Bidvest Namibia Cup twice since its inception in 2013.
In the semi-final match between the two Katutura giants, Stars started the game like a house on fire with their fast paced football, but Pirates later got the rhythm of the game and stabilised play to take the half-time score to a goalless first half.
In the second half, Pirates' Donavan Swartz was given his marching orders in the 51st minute after he collided with Engelhard Kahua.
Despite being a man down, Pirates was the more determined side as they controlled most of the second half ball possession, with their goalkeeper Charles Uirab making countless one-on-one saves to keep his team in the game.
With 90 minutes gone in the game and the score being 0-0, the teams went into extra-time.
After 30 minutes of football there was no score and it was left to the penalty shoot-outs to decide which team progressed to the finals of the lucrative cup.
With five players stepping up to kick, Pirates managed to score 4 while Stars Godwin Jena and their goalkeeper Athiel Mbaha missed their penalties to hand Pirates the 4-3 victory.
Pirates' star goalkeeper of the match,Uirab also missed a penalty but his team still went through to the finals where they will meet another Katutura giant Tigers FC.
Speaking to the media after the game, Pirates coach Lucky Kakuva said winning against the two-time Bidvest Namibia Cup champion was massive.
Today we were spot on with our tactics and winning this game was a way of sending a big statement to the other clubs that are in the cup competition and this result is massive to the club. There is no other club that is supposed to win this cup this year if its not Orlando Pirates, said Kakuva.
The coach added that he is now looking forward to playing in the final and still offer the fans another spectacle performance like they did against Stars.
African Stars coach Woody Jacobs said his team did not capitalise on their chances and ended up on the losing side, but he wished Pirates won the cup.
Todays game was not bad even though we failed to capitalise on our chances. I dont want to say Pirates deserved to be in the finals because we were the best team on the day but congratulations to them for winning today and I hope my good friend (Lucky Kakuva) will win the title this year, said Jacobs.
Jacobs added that his team will now turn their attention to the league title which they are currently leading by eight points.
Stars are on 62 points with three games to play, while the team that is second on the log, Black Africa is on 52 points.
In the Bidvest Namibia Cup game that played earlier, Tigers beat coastal side Eleven Arrows 3-0 to also reach the finals.
The final match is slated for 30 May at the same stadium.
Meanwhile, one football fan and a partner stand a chance to see an England-based team of their choice play against Sunderland FC in that country.
The all-expenses-paid trip includes watching training sessions of Bidvest-sponsored Sunderland FC, as well as meeting their players.