SuperSport dump Pirates out
Ashley Hartog and Thabo Matlaba (Backpage)
Johannesburg - SuperSport United have beaten ten-man Orlando Pirates 3-0 at the Orlando Stadium to advance to the MTN8 final.
Very well-taken goals by Ashley Hartog, Clifford Mulenga and Mabhuti Khenyeza gave the visiting side the win.
It was goalless at the interval, but after Benni McCarthy was dismissed just before half-time, it was always going to be tough for Pirates after the break.
The match was played at a furious pace inside the opening fifteen minutes until Andile Jali
began taking responsibility and stamping his authority on the game.
He and fellow Bafana Bafana team-mate George Maluleka were enjoying a torrid battle in the middle of the park as both teams looked to keep the early pressure on.
It took until the 14th minute for the first genuine goal scoring opportunity to arrive. Big SuperSport defender Mor Diouf tried a spectacular volley at the far post, but his attempt flew way over the bar as he leant back while striking the ball.
Then Roscoe Pietersen connected a volley from outside the danger area, which had it gone in, would have been a contender for goal of the season.
But fortunately for Pirates the attempt flew straight at Moeneeb Josephs
who showed a strong pair of hands to punch away the thunderous strike in the 21st minute.
Two minutes later Nathan Paulse got the better of Lucky Lekgwathi
following a ball into the area by George Maluleka, but Josephs was well positioned to save his left-footed volley.
Then, in the 32nd minute Maluleka’s swerving free-kick beat the wall and just flew wide of Joseph’s near post.
Two minutes later Sifiso Myeni turned Pietersen inside out and got a clear sight of goal on his left foot, but his shot went straight at Fernandez.
Then a minute before half-time saw McCarthy involved in a moment of heated drama and he was sent off for a second yellow card offence. Franklin Cale
had fouled Daine Klate
and McCarthy had a go at Cale, which resulted in both players being booked.
But McCarthy carried on commenting afterwards and the referee sent him for an early shower.
Then Fernandez made an excellent save, getting a tip to push Matlaba’s brilliant volley onto the crossbar.
It was a turning point in the match because soon after that Hartog got the opening goal with a superb left-footed volley.
Substitute Clifford Mulenga gave Josephs no chance with the second goal, a powerful strike after clever set up play by Sibusiso Zuma
Finally, Mabhuti Khenyeza did really well to evade an attempted tackle before he powered home a shot to the far corner.
Moroka Swallows and Mamelodi Sundowns, who drew 3-3 in their first-leg encounter, square up in Dobsonville on Sunday for the other place in the final.