Pirates grab win at the death
Soweto - A man-of-the-match performance from Tlou Segolela saw him lead Orlando Pirates to a come from behind victory at Orlando Stadium on Sunday afternoon when they beat Mamelodi Sundowns 3-2 in their 1st leg MTN8 semi-final.
It was most definitely a game of two halves and the brilliance of Segolela saw his side winning the encounter thanks to his attacking prowess in the second 45 minutes.
The first 45 minutes, though, certainly didn’t belong to the Buccaneers who after going in front in the sixth minute through Thulasizwe Mbuyane found themselves trailing by the 21st minute after Sundowns scored two goals in four minutes.
It was the perfect start for the home side after Benni McCarthy played Mbuyane through on goal and he made no mistake slipping the ball past a stranded Wayne Sandilands, 1-0.
Some bad tackling from the Pirates captain, however, allowed the visitors to hit back almost immediately when Lucky Lekgwathi pulled down Lebohang Mokoena inside the box in the 15th minute.
Katlego Mphela stepped-up to take the penalty, but saw his effort saved by Moneeb Josephs diving to his right. Luckily for Mphela, Josephs palmed the ball back into his path and he made no mistake with the rebound, 1-1.
Four minutes later and Sundowns found themselves in front when they hit on the counter-attack. Elias Pelembe driving down the left wing and supplying a good cross into the box which was magnificently volleyed home by Musa Nyatama from just inside the 18-yard area, 2-1.
It was a terrible display from the treble winning champions in the first half, but they definitely made up for it in the second 45. Led by the inspirational Segolela, Pirates enjoyed the majority of possession in the second half and looked like scoring every time they pushed forward.
Still, despite their domination it did not look like it was to be the Buccaneers' day until, finally, in the 79th minute, they found the equaliser. The man to score the goal was none other than Segolela, who found the back of the net with a thunderous shot from just inside the 18-yard area that rattled the underside of the crossbar before going in, 2-2.
In the second minute of added time Segolela was in the thick of the action again and won his side a penalty-kick after being pulled down inside the box by Surprise Moriri.
Bongani Ndulula, who never looked like missing, coolly stepped-up and sent the keeper the wrong way to give his side the lead and the win, 3-2. Thus giving them a slight advantage ahead of the second leg semi-final next week.
Orlando Pirates (1) 3 (Mbuyane 6’, Segolela 79’, Ndulala 93’ pen)
Mamelodi Sundowns (2) 2 (Mphela 15’, Nyatama 19’)
Pirates: Josephs; Jele, Lekgwathi, Sangweni, Thwala, Segolela, Jali, Manyisa, Klate (Mabena 57’), Mbuyane (Mayambela 81’), McCarthy (Ndulula 74’)
Sundowns: Sandilands; Mphahlele, Mwanjale, Xulu, Masenamela, Nyatama, Moriri, Modise (Pattison 73’), Pelembe, Mphela (Mushekwi 71’), Mokoena (Cale 84’)