Thembinkosi Lorch finally broke his scoring drought as Orlando Pirates overcame a plucky Stellenbosch FC side 1-0 at Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening, to advance into the quarterfinals of the 2019 Telkom Knockout Cup.
The Bafana Bafana winger drove home a rasping finish with six minutes of regulation time remaining as the Buccaneers follow Maritzburg United, Golden Arrows and Kaizer Chiefs into the next round.
Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena named a very attacking line up as the Soweto giants aimed to make light work of last season’s National First Division champions, but despite bossing the game, poor finishing frustrated the hosts for most of the clash.
Lorch and Fortune Makaringe squandered early chances for the home side, but the best opportunity of the first half fell to Augustine Mulenga in the 25th minute.
The reigning PSL Footballer of the Year picked out his attacking teammate at the far post, but the Zambian could only succeed in testing the woodwork.
Pirates continued to knock on the door following the halftime break, but the same trend continued as Tshegofatso Mabasa squandered a further gilt-edged chance in the 82nd minute.
Lorch teed up the forward who could only succeed in guiding his attempt wide from close range.
The main protagonist finally took matters into his own hands two minutes later, firing home a low drive with Lee Langeveldt’s fingertips not strong enough to keep the ball from bulging the back of the net. The goal was Lorch’s first of the season and proved enough to put a smile on the face of the ‘Happy People’.
Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Lorch 84′)
Stellenbosch FC (0) 0
Orlando Pirates: Sandilands; Mako, Jele, Nyauza, Monyane (Ndlovu 73′), Mntambo, Makaringe, Lorch, Pule (Memela 89′), Mulenga (Shonga 66′), Mabasa.
Stellenbosch FC: Langeveldt; Bergman, Ndlovu (Van Heerden 66′), Robertson, De Goede, Mobbie, Zungu, Motsogi (Johannes 59′), Rayners, Van Rooyen (Skelem 59′), Afoakwa.