Pirates signed Thembela
Orlando Pirates coach Muhsin Ertugral has confirmed the signing of defender Thembela Sikhakhane from Golden Arrows.
Sikhakhane would be part of the squad that travelled to Namibia for this weekend’s pre-season preparations and was set to pen a deal with the club.
The KwaZulu-Natal-born defender featured for Pirates at right-back on Saturday during the Bokone Bophiriwa Maize Cup against Platinum Stars. The Buccaneers beat Dikwena 3-1 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
Pirates signed Thembela
Ertugral confirmed the signing of Sikhakhane after the Rustenburg exercise and believes the player will add more quality and competition down the right flank for Bucs.
“Yes, he has signed,” Ertugral said. “He is a good player and that’s why we signed him.”
The 23-year-old is understood to have signed a three-year deal with the Sea Robbers.
Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup: Platinum Stars vs Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates triumped over Platinum Stars in the Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup with a 3-1 win on penalties after the game ended 0-0.
The win will serve as a massive boost for Pirates after a relatively disappointing pre-season up until this point.
Following a very fast start in which Tendai Ndoro flashed his shot wildly across goal the pace of the game settled down significantly.
Both teams became content to move the ball around and play very patiently without making tracks into advanced positions.
Things livened up when Edwin Giymah fouled Robert Ng’ambi in the 18th minute and Ndumiso Mabena stepped up to strike a beautiful free kick that forced Jackson Mabokgwane to fly across goal and make the save.
That sight of goal seemed to spur Stars on and they had a great chance to open the scoring againt through Mabena who surged into the box with the ball at his feel only to show a lack of composure and blast over.
Approaching the 40 minute mark Dikwena had yet another opportunity from a set piece and this time Sphamandla Mlilo was tasked with taking it but fired over.
Moments later the ball came to Henrico Botes at an awkward height yet he still managered to engineer a decent shot from the edge of the area that went just past the upright.
As the game went past the hour-mark Pirates had a great chance on the counter as Ndoro slipper Thabo Matlaba through only for Mbongeni Mzimela to rush off his line and brillinatly smother the fullback’s effort.
With ten minutes remaining the Buccaneers finally came to life and were unlucky not to see the ball end up in the back of the net when Ndoro collected a ball over the top and some top keeping denied him before the ball fell to Rakhale who had his shot intercepted by the defence with Mzimela off his line.
Rakhale was again in the thick of it moments later as Luvoyo Memela played him clean through only for the ball to be knicked off his feet as he was about to pull the trigger.
Memela then had a chance of his own as Pirates piled on the pressure but Mzimela was again the hero and dived at the attacking player’s feet to deny him.
With regulation time having elapsed the game went straight to a penalty shootout to determine the winner.
Having come on as a substitute Felipe Ovono proved to be the hero for Pirates as opposite number Mzimela was the only player to put the ball past him.
Ovono saved from Mabena and Mlilo and Siyabonga Zulu missed whilst Pirates were on target with all of their spot kicks to win the shootout 3-1 and claim the cup.
Platinum Stars starting XI: Mbongeni Mzimela, Gumede, Sphamandla Mlilo, Siyabonga Zulu, Sphiwe Mnguni, Vuyo Mere, Robert Ng’ambi, Ndumiso Mabena, Henrico Botes, Thamsanqa Gwabeni, Tintswalo Tshabalala
Subs: Nhlakanipho Duma, Kobamelo Kodisang, Gift Links, Katlego Khunou, Charles Baloyi
Orlando Pirates starting XI: Jackson Mabokgwane, Thabo Matlaba, Justice Chabalala, Edwin Gyimah, Thembela Sikhakhane, Issa Sarr, Oupa Manyisa, Mpho Makola, Thabo Qalinge, Thabo Rakhale, Tendai Ndoro
Subs: Felipe Ovono, Patrick Phungwayo, Ayanda Nkosi, Mahlatse Makudubela, Thamsanqa Gabuza, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Luvoyo Memela