By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
At Coca Cola Park, Johannesburg
Attendance: 38 777
Orlando Pirates (1) 3
Tottenham Hotspur (0)
TOTTENHAM Hotspur beat Orlando Pirates 3-0 to lift their second Vodacom Challenge in a short space of three years at the almost packed Coca Cola Park this afternoon.
This final match was the replica of the 2007 which saw Hotspur won with the same margin over the Soweto giants at the Loftus Stadium.
Ironically, it was Pirates who started the match like a house on fire with the likes of Bongani Ndulula, Tlou Segolela and Daine Klate hot in the heels of the Hotspur defenders, but the trio could not convert their chances into goals as they were either shooting wide or straight into the goalkeeper’s hands.
Segolela could have put Pirates in the lead as early as the 10th minute after he had receive a good pass from Andile Jali, but his attempt was blocked into a corner kick by Bongani Khumalo.
Hotspur’ chance came in the 18th minute, but Aaron Lennon had his shot saved by Senzo Meyiwa before Peter Crouch could shoot wide a Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s cross a minute later.
The mighty Buccaneers came to the spot again in the 25th minute, and this time it was Thulasizwe Mbuyani who had to watch helplessly as his fine header went wide with goalkeeper, Heurelho Gomes well beaten. This after the former Free State Stars striker had received a pass from Segolela.
Gomes added to Pirates’ frustrations when he denied Ndulula’s goal-boud shot, fisting it into a corner kick in the 26th minute.
From there, Hotspur regrouped and completely stole the limelight with their front men searching for goals, but it was not meant to be after Peter Crouch sent wide a Steven Pienaar’s cross with Meyiwa well beaten in the 30th minute.
Rafael van der Vaart showed them how it is done when he slotted home from a free kick to give Hotspur a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute.
Pirates however fought back, but lady luck seemed to have deserted them with Ndulula who received a through pass from Klate as the culprit after he wasted yet another scoring opportunity when his shot went astray with the net yawning for the goal in the 43rd minute.
Hotspur came spitting fire in the second half and it came as no surprise when Van der Vaart barced himself to make it 2-0 in the 53rd minute.
Sensing death around the corner, Leal brought in Mark Mayambela for Ndulula in the 62nd minute before he could introduce three more players at the back in Rooi Mahamutsa, Rudolf Bester and Robyn Johannes for Lekgwathi, Klate and Sangweni two minutes later, but it was too little too late as that could not save them from the embarrassment as Hotspur were all over them and they scored their third goal via substitute Jermain Defoe in the 87th minute to give the English Premiership side a deserving 3-0 victory.
Pirates: Head Coach: Julio Cesar Leal (head coach), Senzo Meyiwa, Happy Jele, Lucky Lekgwathi (Rooi Mahamutsa 64th), Siyabonga Sangweni (Robyn Johannes 64th), Andile Jali (Clifford Ngobeni 81st), Oupa Manyisa, Thulasizwe Mbuyane (Sameegh Doutie 46th minute), Bongani Ndulula (Mark Mayambela 62nd) and Daine Klate (Rudolf Bester 64th) and Reuben Cloete (Lucas Twala 69th minute).
Hotspur: Harry Redknapp (head coach), Heurelho Gomes, Kyle Walker, Sebastien Bassong, Bongani Khumalo, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Aaron Lennon (Roman Pavlyuchenko (61st), Luka Modric (Gareth Bale 72nd ), Tom Huddlestone, Steven Pienaar (Wilson Palacios 46th), Rafael van der Vaart and Peter Crouch.