Soccer

Pirates into Nedbank Cup final

2011-05-14 22:51
Tlou Segolela (File)
Orlando - Orlando Pirates booked their third cup final appearance of the season, beating Mpumalanga Black Aces 1-0 after extra-time in a Nedbank Cup semi-final on Saturday night.

The patriotic home fans at Orlando Stadium - affectionately referred to as the Ghost - waited until the 110th minute for the winner from Tlou Segolela.

The winger pounced on a pass from midfielder Andile Jali who sliced through a tiring Aces defence for the all important moment of the game.

This is a rare, fruitful campaign for the Buccaneers who lifted MTN8 last August.

They were runners-up in the Telkom Knockout in December and next week will also be challenging for the Premiership honours. However, it was not a clinical display from Pirates who sporadically created chances in the 90 minutes of normal time.

Aces - already relegated from top flight football - had started off in sprightly fashion with on-loan Pirates winger Joseph Makhanya having his header cleared off the line.

From the follow up, midfielder Joseph Henyekane saw his effort saved by goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.

Midway through the half, winger Vusiwe Masondo found the net but was disallowed after he had used his hand to punch the goal in.

Pirates' first clear cut opportunity fell to Segolela in the 26th minute and was easily held by Aces keeper Dennis Onyango.

Lucky Lekgwathi soon fashioned a header from a corner kick that was cleared off the line by Masondo.

The second-half was sedate with Aces dangerous in set pieces with defender Marco da Silva heading a free-kick narrowly wide of goal in the final moments.

The star performer on the evening was Onyango who kept Pirates at bay and his side in play with incredible stops, especially in the 30 minutes of additional time.

The Uganda international acrobatically saved numerous chances that fell to substitutes Mark Mayambela and Ndumiso Mabena, and Lekgwathi.

With fatigue setting in on AmaZayoni, the side would have banked on the burly keeper's reflexes to send them to the final if the match went into the lottery of penalty shoot-outs.

Pirates will play the winner of Sunday's second semi-final between Baroka FC and Black Leopards.

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