Mat­sat­santsa sink Pi­rates

Bucs played hard but failed to keep Su­perS­port United down. The win­ners in the close game have suc­ceeded in set­ting up a Telkom Knock­out fi­nal against Cape Town City on De­cem­ber 10

CityPress - - Sport -

Thabo Mnya­mane’s first-half goal helped Su­perS­port United de­feat 10-man Or­lando Pi­rates 1-0 in a Telkom Knock­out Cup semi­fi­nal clash at the Mbombela Sta­dium in Nel­spruit last night.

As a re­sult, Mat­sat­santsa will now take on Cape Town City in the 2016 Telkom Knock­out Cup fi­nal on De­cem­ber 10.

City over­came Free State Stars 4-1 in the first semi­fi­nal ear­lier yes­ter­day.

Both teams were look­ing to stamp their author­ity in the open­ing stages of the game – Mnya­mane tested Pi­rates goal­keeper Jack­son Mabokg­wane with a pow­er­ful shot from range in the fifth minute.

Pi­rates mid­fielder Mpho Makola had a chance to give his side the lead a minute later, but the Bafana Bafana in­ter­na­tional volleyed the ball wide.

The dead­lock was fi­nally bro­ken in the 21st minute by Mnya­mane, who scored from close range to make it 10 to Su­perS­port fol­low­ing a de­fen­sive er­ror by the Pi­rates back­line.

Bucs then pushed for­ward in num­bers in search of an im­me­di­ate re­sponse, with Lu­vuyo Memela forc­ing Su­perS­port keeper Reyaad Pi­eterse into a good save in the 35th minute.

Issa Sarr and Thabo Rakhale then un­leashed shots from range that missed the tar­get as the Su­perS­port de­fence frus­trated Pi­rates un­til the first half ended, with the home side lead­ing 1-0.

Dean Fur­man nearly made it 2-0 to Su­perS­port six min­utes af­ter the restart, but the Su­perS­port cap­tain’s pow­er­ful shot was bril­liantly saved by Mabokg­wane.

At the other end, Pi­rates were strug­gling to pen­e­trate the Su­perS­port de­fence with the likes of Memela and Thabo Qalinge forced to pull the trig­ger from range.

In the 70th minute, former Mpumalanga Black Aces winger Thabo Qalinge cut in­side be­fore un­leash­ing a good shot; which nar­rowly missed the tar­get as Bucs dom­i­nated the sec­ond half.

Pi­rates were dealt a ma­jor blow with 10 min­utes left on the clock when Thabo Mat­laba was given a straight red card fol­low­ing a dan­ger­ous tackle on Su­perS­port striker Jeremy Brockie.

Pi­eterse was the hero for Su­perS­port in the dy­ing min­utes of the game, par­ry­ing away Qalinge’s thun­der­ous shot to en­sure that Su­perS­port walked away the win­ners.

– Back­page TXT

PHOTO: ©SA­MUEL SHIVAMBU / BACK­PAGEPIX

NECK AND NECK Thabo Rakhale of Or­lando Pi­rates in a neck and neck race for the ball with Thuso Phala of Su­pers­port United dur­ing the 2016 Telkom Knock­out semi­fi­nal at the Mbombela Sta­dium, Nel­spruit last evening

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