Justin Shonga scored when it mattered most for Pirates. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1

Orlando Pirates (1) 2

Justin Shonga stole the show in the dying minutes of the Soweto Derby at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban as his strike fired Orlando Pirates in to the final of the Telkom Knockout following a 2-1 victory over Kaizer Chiefs. 

The Zambian missed the penalty when the two Soweto giants met in the league at FNB Stadium last month. 

Shonga has come under-fire from Pirates supporters for missing a lot of clear goal scoring opportunities in the last few matches but saved his best for the derby. He delivered when it mattered the most. 

Pirates are now on course to end their four year barren run of trophies. They will meet the winner of the clash between Baroka FC and Bidvest Wits. 

Pirates broke the deadlock 12 minutes in to the game following a well constructed move which was initiated by Vincent Pule and finished by Thembinkosi Lorch who showed calmness to beat Itumeleng Khune. 

Mario Booysen committed a blunder on the left and side when he tried to trap the ball but it went through his left foot and fell in to the path of Pule who produced an exquisite pass with his outside foot to pinpoint Lorch who got in to the ball ahead of Ngezana who made a strong finish. 

Six minutes later, Leonardo Castro, levelled the matter for Amakhosi capitalising from the moment of madness between Jackson Mabokgwane and Happy Jele. 

Jele should have cleared the danger but waited for Mabokgwane to come and collect the ball which allowed Castro to tap in for the equaliser despite Pirates dominating. They created better chances and controlled the pace of the game. 

Lebogang Manyama was having a bad for Amakhosi. He lost possession cheaply on numerous occasions and was ineffective offensively.

Xola Mlambo and Musa Nyatama were bossing the midfield for Pirates. Billiat hardly threaten for Chiefs. He was tightly marked.

Booysen was given an opportunity to pay this debt for the blunder that he committed in the first goal but ballooned his short wide from the target. 

Mabokgwane failed to collect the ball aerial and fell in to Booysen who skied his attempt wide from the target.

Pirates were piling all the pressure. The only thing that was missing in their play was the killer instinct.

At that time, Chiefs players were busy shouting at each. Firstly it was Willard Katsande who had a go at George Maluleka and it was Khune and Siyabonga Ngezana. They were feeling the pressure.

The only time when it looked like Chiefs were going to score was during set plays. They lacked aggression, creativity, sense of agency and confidence to penetrate the Pirates defence.  

There was no fluidity in their play and gave Pirates acres of space to build from the back without pressing them enough. 

Mlambo and Nyatama were dropping deep to collect the ball and start good moves for the Bucanneers. 

Giovanni Solinas sacrificed Manyama and brought in Bernard Parker in his place but never influenced the game. 

Shonga tried an audacious kick which proved unsuccessful but the ball still remained on his path as he took on Ngezana before beating Khune with a lovely finish. 

Chiefs will have to wait for another year to end their trophy drought. They were outplayed and outmuscled by a determined Pirates side. Everything they planned on the day worked out well for them. They were the deserved winners. Chiefs have to really worked diligently if they are serious about winning anything this season. Amakhosi aren't playing like a team that wants to something at the moment. 

@minenhlecr7


IOL Sport