Sundowns Beat Pirates To Reach Nedbank Semis
Mamelodi Sundowns are into the Nedbank semi-finals after they beat Orlando Pirates 4-1 in their quarter-final match at Loftus Stadium on Thursday evening.
After an even first half, that ended 1-1, the Brazilians showed their class in the second 45 and score three unanswered goals in a comprehensive win.
Sundowns will now host Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in Sunday’s semi-final. Pretoria Callies host Chippa United on Saturday in the other last four game.
Mamelodi Sundowns 4-1 Orlando Pirates
It was Sundowns who showed the early intent, as Aubrey Modiba shot across goal in the opening minute, before Shalulile’s effort, albeit from an off-side position, forced Wayne Sandilands into a reflex save.
Ben Motshwari tried a long range effort in the fifth minute, but his effort went wide of goal.
Sundowns made it 1-0 in the 12th minute. Rivaldo Coetzee found Peter Shalulile with a great pass over the defence, Shalulile ran onto the ball, took one touch and shot from just outside the box past a diving Sandilands.
Thapelo Morena’s effort in the 19th minute, was blocked by Happy Jele in the box, and the Sundowns players were disappointed not to be awarded a penalty, as it seemed to hit Jele’s hand.
Shalulile had a great chance for a second in the 28th minute as he broke free in he box, but his first touch when trying to round Sandilands was too heavy, and Thulani Hlatshwayo was able to intercept and the opportunity was thwarted.
Pirates were back in the game in the 33rd minute as they hit Sundowns on the counter. Deon Hotto broke free to reach a ball over the top from Jele, he fed Gabadinho Mhango down the left, who cut the ball back and Tshegofatso Mabasa was there to finish it off. 1-1
Gaston Sirino’s effort in the 38th minute from the edge of the area was straight at Sandilands, who made a routine save. A minute later the Uruguayan tried to lob the Pirates goalkeeper, but couldn’t get the height on the ball, and Sandilands plucked it from the air.
Mhango could’ve put Pirates in the lead in the 40th minute, but his while his shot from close range beat Denis Onyango, it struck the crossbar and bounced back into play.
Two minutes later a crucial sliding interception from Mosa Lebusa denied Mhango another opportunity.
At the end of an entertaining first half the score remained 1-1.
However Sundowns showed their superiority in the second half.
Themba Zwane put Sundowns into the lead four minutes into the second half.he combined with Shalulile, dribbled into the box, got around Sandilands and put the ball in the net.
The action continued to swing from end-to-end, and Mabasa had another chance in the 57th minute to find an equaliser but shot wide. A minute later Lebohang Maboe shot wide, after Zwane set him up.
Lebusa went close in the 63rd minute, but his left-footed shot from outside the area went just over the goal.
Four minutes later Zwane broke free, but Sandilands came out and grabbed the ball at his feet before he could shoot. He did shoot however a minute later, but his curling effort from the edge of the area was again saved by Sandilands.
Pirates were holding on, and from the resulting corner Motshwari was on hand to clear Rushine De Reuck’s headed attempt off the line.
With twenty minutes to go action swung back to the other end of the pitch as Onyango had to show good reflexes to stop an own goal from Lebusa.
In the 78th minute, and barely a minute after coming onto the pitch substitute Lesedi Kapinga made it 3-1 to Sundowns, set up by Zwane, his shot from just inside the box flew in off the upright.
That goal seemed to take the wind out of Pirates’ sails, and while they tried to get back into the game, Sundowns managed the final minutes well.
In fact so well, that they added to the score in the 86th minute, as Hlompho Kekana, who came on with Kapinga, wrapped up the result, with a goal from just outside the area, a powerful low effort that gave Sandilands no chance.