Pi­rates sail into TKO fi­nal

Shonga comes good in Soweto Derby against disjointed Chiefs

The Sunday Independent - - SPORT - MINENHLE MKHIZE [email protected]


JUSTIN Shonga stole the show in the dy­ing min­utes of the Soweto Derby at Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in Dur­ban yes­ter­day as his strike fired Or­lando Pi­rates into the fi­nal of the Telkom Knock­out fol­low­ing vic­tory over arch ri­vals Kaizer Chiefs.

The Zam­bian missed a penalty when the Soweto gi­ants met in the league at FNB Sta­dium last month.

Shonga came un­der fire from Pi­rates sup­port­ers for miss­ing clear goal scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the last few matches, but he saved his best for the derby. He de­liv­ered when it mat­tered the most.

Pi­rates are now on course to end their four-year tro­phy bar­ren run. They will meet the win­ner of the clash be­tween Baroka FC and Bid­vest Wits.

Pi­rates broke the dead­lock 12 min­utes into the game fol­low­ing a well con­structed move which was ini­ti­ated by Vin­cent Pule and fin­ished by Them­binkosi Lorch, who showed calm­ness to beat Itume­leng Khune.

Mario Booy­sen com­mit­ted a blun­der when he tried to trap the ball but it went past his left foot and fell into the path of Pule who pro­duced an ex­quis­ite pass with the out­side of his foot to pin­point Lorch, who got to the ball ahead of Siyabonga Ngezana to fin­ish with aplomb.

Six min­utes later Leonardo Castro lev­elled for Amakhosi, cap­i­tal­is­ing from a mo­ment of mad­ness be­tween Jack­son Mabokg­wane and Happy Jele.

Jele should have cleared the dan­ger but waited for Mabokg­wane to come and col­lect the ball, which al­lowed Castro to tap in.

But it was all Pi­rates. They cre­ated bet­ter chances and con­trolled the pace of the game. Xola Mlambo and Musa Ny­atama bossed the mid­field for Pi­rates.

Le­bo­gang Manyama had a bad out­ing for Amakhosi. He lost pos­ses­sion cheaply on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions and was in­ef­fec­tive of­fen­sively. Khama Bil­liat hardly threat­ened for Chiefs. He was tightly marked.

Booy­sen was given an op­por­tu­nity to re­deem him­self for the blun­der that he com­mit­ted in the first goal, but he bal­looned his shot.

Pi­rates piled on the pres­sure. The only thing that was miss­ing in their play was the killer in­stinct.

At that time, Chiefs play­ers were busy shout­ing at each other. First Wil­lard Kat­sande had a go at Ge­orge Maluleka, and then Khune and Ngezana had words. They were feel­ing the pres­sure.

The only time it looked like Chiefs would score was dur­ing set plays. They lacked ag­gres­sion, cre­ativ­ity, a sense of ur­gency and con­fi­dence to pen­e­trate the Pi­rates de­fence.

There was no flu­id­ity in their play and they gave Pi­rates acres of space to build from the back with­out press­ing them enough.

Mlambo and Ny­atama dropped deep to col­lect the ball and start good moves for the Buc­can­neers.

Gio­vanni Soli­nas sac­ri­ficed Manyama and brought in Bernard Parker but he never in­flu­enced the game.

Shonga tried an au­da­cious kick which proved un­suc­cess­ful, but the ball re­mained in his path as he took on Ngezana be­fore beat­ing Khune with a lovely fin­ish.

Chiefs will have to wait for an­other year to end their tro­phy drought. They were out­played and out­mus­cled by the de­ter­mined Pi­rates side.

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