The Buccaneers put on a composed and intelligent performance against a determined Ea Lla Koto outfit to ensure their place in the final and give themselves a shot at claiming their ninth national cup title.
Pirates established a 2-0 lead in a first half that was a fast-paced and entertaining affair in the cool and slick conditions in Bethlehem. The visitors opened the scoring after 24 minutes when Lucky Mohomi scored an unfortunate own goal off Memela’s free kick.
Fourteen 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.
Pirates 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.
Stars 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.
Just 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.
The 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