Cape Town - Orlando
Pirates have booked a place in the final of the 2016 Nedbank Cup after
defeating Free State Stars 4-2 at Goble Park on Saturday afternoon.
Memela scored two goals and created another to inspire the Buccaneers to a
deserved victory - though the scoreline perhaps flattered them given the
chances a plucky Ea Lla Koto enjoyed in the match.
established a 2-0 lead in a first half which was a fast-paced and entertaining
affair in the cool and slick conditions in Bethlehem. The visitors opened the
scoring 24 minutes in when Lucky Mohomi scored an unfortunate own goal from
Luvoyo Memela’s free kick.
minutes later Memela himself found the back of the net to double the lead,
taking advantage of a lucky bounce before firing a right-footed shot which
arguably should have been saved by Stars goalkeeper Johnny Mathole.
dominated the first stanza and were worthy of their lead, but Ea Lla Koto did
have chances of their own: Brighton Mhlongo had to come up with two good saves
in the 18th and 29th minutes to keep out efforts from
Mohomi and Danny Venter respectively.
started the second half strongly and almost pulled a goal back on 53 minutes
through Mohomi, who was unlucky to see his grasscutter shot rebound off the
inside of the upright after having the beating of Mhlongo.
two minutes later Ea Lla Koto finally got the goal their attacking efforts
deserved: with Pirates unable to clear from a free-kick, Ayanda Nkosi fired
home in a crowded box from close range to make it 2-1.
Free State side was the dominant force in the second half, forcing the
Buccaneers to retreat further and further in defence as the match wore on, but
the away side did put together some good attacks on the counter, most notably
when Mpho Makola almost killed the game off in the 84th minute, but
his rifled shot rebounded off the post.
minute later Memela capped his fine performance with a second goal to finally
end Stars’ hopes. A messy build-up saw Memela show his class and composure to
simply pass the ball into the net to make it 3-1.
pain arrived for Stars in the final minute of regulation time when substitute
Thamsanqa Gabuza took advantage of a rebound off Mathole to fire home his
side’s fourth - before childishly goading his own supporters.
best goal of the game was left for last, with Mohomi firing home a stunning
shot from a free kick to make it 4-2 in the second minute of injury time,
though it proved to be nothing more than a consolation for the downtrodden hosts.
final will be played on May 28 at Peter Mokaba Stadium. Pirates will face
either SuperSport United or Baroka FC, who meet in the second semifinal later