Pirates sail into TKO final
Shonga comes good in Soweto Derby against disjointed Chiefs
KAIZER CHIEFS (1) 1 ORLANDO PIRATES (1) 2
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.