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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Pirates ease past Crystal Lake

The Soweto-based side could have kept on scoring as they dominated their opponents.

Orlando Pirates began their Nedbank Cup defence with ease after thrashing amateur side Crystal Lake FC 6-0 at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

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It was a dominant performance as expected by Pirates, as they went into the break leading 4-0, showing no mercy to the SAFA Regional League club, who struggled throughout the game against the DStv Premiership outfit.

Pirates didn’t waste time in the annihilation of Crystal Lake, with Olisa Ndah scoring as early as the fourth minute of the match before Tapelo Xoki Made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Maxwell Thete’s foul on Evidence Makgopa inside the box.

The Soweto-based side could have kept on scoring as they dominated their opponents, but couldn’t finish some of their chances.

Relebohile Mofokeng continued the scoring with a well-taken shot in the 11th minute, but Crystal Lake keeper Excellent Mkhondo could have done better as Pirates went 3-0 up.

Having seen how vulnerable the Mpumalanga outfit were, Pirates players were all itching for a goal, but Xoki missed the ball with an open net. Evidence Makgopa’s attempt was cleared off the line by Crystal Lake defender Clife Mhlanga.

However, in the 33rd minute, Patrick Maswanganyi made it 4-0 with a left-footed volley thanks to a good cross by Mofokeng.

Mkhondo appeared to be injured and was substituted and replaced by Busani Mabunda just before half time.

Mabunda made a great save to deny Maswanganyi from close range in the second half. But, it wasn’t long before he conceded, after he was beaten by Xoki’s header in the 51st minute to make it 5-0 for the Buccaneers.

Crystal Lake striker Teboho Mashego had a glorious opportunity to pull one goal back for his team after a mistake by Xoki at the back, but his shot went off target in the 69th minute.

The home side improved their play in the second period, with some tight defending, as well as improved goalkeeping to deny Bucs from getting another flurry of goals.

But they were sloppy in the last 10 minutes as Bucs substitute Tshegofatso Mabasa got the sixth goal for Pirates.

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Crystal Lake came close to a consolation goal, after Halalisani Nkuna was denied by Sipho Chaine in the last minute of the match. It was the end of the road for the third-tier side, who will probably not want to remember the scoreline, but no doubt relished the opportunity of to play one of the country’s biggest team.

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