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Deon Hotto’s late goal secures Pirates victory over Stellenbosch

Deon Hotto’s stoppage-time header secured Orlando Pirates a 2-1 victory over 10-man Stellenbosch FC in the MTN8 semi-final first leg in front of a sold-out crowd at Athlone Stadium on Sunday.

The two clubs had already met earlier this season during their league opener. Stellies got the better of Pirates coming out victorious with a 1-0 scoreline at the Danie Craven Stadium.

The open exchanges in the first half were much more even with both sides attacking each other. The first sight of goal, on five minutes, dropped to the former SuperSport United striker Iqraam Rayners who faced Sipho Chaine but skewed his effort well wide. 

Moments later, the away side had a quick forward movement, and Paseka Mako found Patrick Maswanganyi, whose 25-yard strike went inches past Sage Stephens’ right-hand post.

As time went on, Pirates played more into the home side’s half and had box entries on many occasions.

In the 32nd minute, Stellenbosch suffered a big blow with their centre-back Thabo Moloisane, receiving a red card after a crude tackle on Maswanganyi. The Buccaneers came close to opening the scoring when Nkosinathi Sibisi’s header was expertly dealt with by Stephens.

Soon after, the Stellies goalie was called to repel Zakhele Lepasa’s vicious effort. And four minutes before the break Stephens made another fantastic save parrying away Saleng’s perfect header.


In stoppage time, Olivier Toure’s sucker punch gave Stellies a lead just before the referee blew for half-time.

Deon Hotto's late goal secures Orlando Pirates over Stellenbosch FC
Stellenbosch FC players

The visitors returned from half-time and picked up where they left off, having a lion’s share of possession. In the 54th minute, Mako identified Dion Hotto with a curling cross, however, the Namibian’s header went over the bar.

Bearing in mind that they had a numerical disadvantage, Stellies opted to play a low block, protecting what they already had in the bag.


However, in the 65th minute, Maswanganyi whipped in a cross and Lepasa pounced to level the matters with an all-important goal.

Two minutes later, Kermit Erasmus and Relebohile Mofokeng entered the fray in place of Mako and Thabang Monare, as Pirates were then seeking a winning goal. Thereafter, Stellenbosch had a few moments up front, looking to hurt Ezimnyama Ngenkani once again, however, failed to utilise those chances.

Riveiro’s side continued to throw everything at the hosts but the Winelands side remained astute to prevent conceding the second goal. However, just before the referee ended the second half, Hotto scored the late goal to secure the victory for his side.

RELATED STORY: Mashamaite and Kekana explain why Stellenbosch can cause upset for Pirates 

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