Johannesburg – Orlando Pirates powered to a 2-1 victory over SuperSport United to progress through to the semifinal of the MTN8 at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Pirates joined Platinum Stars and Wits in the last four of the knock out cup competition. The remaining spot will be filled by either Kaizer Chiefs or Mpumalanga Black Aces who square off at the FNB Stadium on Sunday.
Pirates, buoyed by their home supporters, came close to breaking the deadlock within the first quarter with striker Kermit Erasmus collaborating well with midfielder Thabo Matlaba. The duo in tandem proved a handful for the United defence with penetrative attacks on the flank but poor finishing let the opponents off the hook.
After some applied pressure in the heart of midfield, Oupa Manyisa got sight on goal but fed through a delightful through pass which landed kindly for Dane Klate who finished past Senzo Meyiwa in the 31st minute.
Pirates showed no mercy to the opposition as they pounded United with a relentless onslaught. The Buccaneers were dominant in their victory over the Pretoria-based United as they ran circles around the vulnerable opposition defensive system.
The Soweto heavyweights took full advantage of the dysfunctional United defence, overwhelming the visitors with a blistering running style of play.
With the match seemingly headed for the break with a single goal, the sharpshooting Erasmus punished United after another defensive lapse from Matsatsantsa.
Playing against his former club, Erasmus made no mistake in the penalty box with an accurately placed lob over Ronwen Williams into the back of the net in the 39th minute.
Pirates resumed the second-half in the same manner they ended the first with more lacerating runs on the flank which almost led to the third goal.
Pirates were aiming directly for the jugular as they pressed United backwards with winger Mpho Makola running riot over the likes of Clayton Daniels in centre back.
Against the run of play United built some momentum and caught Pirates off-guard at the back with a sensational counter attack.
United central midfielder Thato Mokeke fed through a tantalizing pass in the box which found David Mathebula who calmly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Meyiwa.
The goal only seemed to spur the opposition as Pirates went all out in attack in an attempt to put the match to rest. The Buccaneers looked like a well drilled outfit and in the 56th minute Matlaba hit the upright of the goal posts when scoring appeared easier.
United brought on new striker, Lerato Manzini, who complemented Bradley Grobler upfront and they pegged the Pirates defence back in the last 15 minutes.
Manzini combined wonderfully with Thuso Phala who passed Grobler a great ball through to beat the defensive line only to shoot wide of the net. – Sapa