OFFICIAL: Rampant Bucs Clinch Final Champions League Spot

Jose Riveiro, coach of Orlando Pirates, reacts during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on 30 December 2022
Jose Riveiro, coach of Orlando Pirates, reacts during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on 30 December 2022
Samuel Shivambu

Orlando Pirates have secured the final CAF Champions League spot after thrashing AmaZulu 4-0 in their final DStv Premiership clash on Saturday.

DStv Premiership

Result: AmaZulu 0-4 Orlando Pirates

Date: 20 May 2023

Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium

Jose Riveiro has went with Ndlondlo and Makhaula in the midfield once again, as Kermit Erasmus maintained his spot at the top of the attack while Thembinkosi Lorch was back in the matchday squad.

The Buccaneers got off to the perfect start as Thabiso Monyane found the back of the net with a well-placed shot from a tight angle, opening his account for the league campaign on the final day.

Usuthu, meanwhile, struggled to get going and had to wait until the 22nd minute for an opening at the Pirates goal but full-back Sibusiso Mabiliso failed to take advantage when he blazed over from close range.

With the Soweto giants continuing to dominate, the in-form Terrence Dzvukamanja was presented with a couple chances after the 30-minute mark but the Pirates striker failed to trouble Usuthu shot-stopper Jody February on both occasions.

The hosts got their reward nine minutes before the break when 18-year-old Relebogile Ratomo got his first senior goal for the Buccaneers, after his strike against Royal AM was ruled as an own goal a couple weeks ago.

There was enough time for the Buccaneers to grab a third goal when Monnapule Saleng got his tenth league goal after pouncing on a loose ball before slotting past Jody February.

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Usuthu coach Ayanda Dlamini opted for a double change at the start of the break, as Dumisani Zuma and Hendrick Ekstein made way for Lehlonoholo Majoro and Thembela Sikhakhane.

The changes did help improve Usuthu on the offensive end, as they went close to pulling one back on the hour mark but striker Bonginkosi Ntuli saw his strike brilliantly palmed away by goalkeeper Sipho Chaine.

With Pirates comfortably leading, coach Jose Riveiro opted for a double change of his own by introducing Thembinkosi Lorch and Innocent Maela in place of Erasmus and Paseko Mako.

AmaZulu were put out of their misery with ten minutes to play as Kabelo Dlamini registered his name on the score-sheet with a close-range finish and seal second spot for the Buccaneers.

Here's how they lined up:

AmaZulu: 30. February, 17. Gumede, 42. Mabiliso, 2. Mphahlele, 2. Mobara, 4. Malepe, 18. Brooks, 12. Maluleka, 7. Ntuli, 27. Ekstein, 15. Zuma.

Subs: 44. Mothwa, 5. Sikhakhane, 22. Khumalo, 45. Buchanan, 50. Bwalya, 37. Shange, 36. Kunene, 3. Ndlovu, 20. Majoro

Orlando Pirates: 34. Chaine, 5. Sibisi, 39. Mthethwa, 29. Mako, 2. Monyane, 36. Makhaula, 15. Ndlondlo, 38. Ratomo, 14. Saleng, 37. Dzvukamanja, 95. Erasmus

Subs: 40. Mpontshane, 23. Maela, 15. Timm, 18. Dlamini, 6. Motshwari, 11. Hotto, 21. Marou, 9. Eva Nga, 3. Lorch

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