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Rand Stadium
27/03/2010 18:00

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Orlando Pirates reach Telkom Knockout Cup semis

Posted: 27 March 2010 Time: 20:36

Former Jomo Cosmos winger Dikgang Mabalane scored the decisive goal against his old team as Orlando Pirates advanced to the semifinals of the Telkom Knockout Cup with a 2-1 win at Rand Stadium in southern Johannesburg on Saturday evening.

A third goal in as many games from youngster Ndumiso Mabena and an equaliser from Cosmos captain Thapelo Tshilo had left the score locked at 1-1 before Mabalane was able to find the winning strike in the 71st minute.

Neither side was able to really hit their stride in the first half, though Cosmos created more half-chances than their visitors.

The front three of Gassousou Diarra, Ayo Oluwafemi and Norman Smith provided a fair amount of movement and invention up front for the home team and they posed more of an attacking threat despite seeing less of the ball.

Ezenkosi really should have taken the lead just past the half hour mark when Diarra skipped through the Pirates backline but chose to try and square the ball across the penalty area when he had the time and space to get away a shot.

Pirates, for their part, had plenty of possession but hardly worried Cosmos’ defence. The Buccaneers’ only real threat came down the left flank where Bennet Chenene looked lively.

Pirates’ Dikgang Mabalane, who had a blinder of a game in their first round win over Bloemfontein Celtic, was completely neutralised by Tshepo Moloto. The youngster, who usually plays a striker, was deployed at left-back purely to match ‘Terminator’s’ devastating speed.

Buccaneers coach Ruud Krol generally leaves it late to make substitutions but opted for a change in the interval, withdrawing defensive midfielder Mlungisi Mdluli and sending on the more offensively-minded Denis Masina.

The more attacking approach paid immediate dividends, with Ndumiso Mabena breaking the deadlock three minutes into the second half. Thapelo Tshilo failed to clear a Mabalane cross and the ball fell for Mabena, who struck a low shot past Avril Phali’s left hand and found the bottom corner of the net.

Tshilo, who was culpable for Pirates’ goal, more than redeemed himself by scoring a stunning equaliser in the 54th minute. The lanky central defender found the back of the net from a free kick more than 30 metres from goal, driving home a low shot that appeared to take a slight deflection on its way through.

Just under ten minutes later Pirates were lucky not to be reduced to ten men when Rooi Mahamutsa tripped Smith from behind after the striker had got ahead of the Buccaneers defender and looked to have a clean run on goal. Referee Jerome Damon failed to even award a free kick.

Though he was wrapped up in the first half by Moloto, Mabalane was gradually beginning to have more influence on the game and he duly restored Pirates’ lead with just under 20 minutes to play.

Cosmos again failed to clear their lines effectively and were punished when Mabalane hit a shot from the edge of the penalty area that skipped through a crowd of players and found the bottom corner of Phali’s net.

Any hopes Ezenkosi had of finding a late equaliser were all but eliminated when Tshilo was dismissed for picking up a completely unnecessary second yellow card.

Previous comments on this story...

Anonymous
posted: 08:46 pm
UP THE BUCS, kancane kancane kuzolunga,UP THE MIGHTY BUCCANEERS.
Anonymous
posted: 08:55 pm
Can t wait 4 semis draw, can t wait 4 tomorrow s BIG ONE phela thina we r free of pressure now.
Zwelithini
posted: 09:42 pm
Although we won but i'm not convince by our coach tactics of the game i don't take anything away from Mothibantwa but i believe the guy is not good for Pirates if you look at the minutes he spend on the field out of 20 passes he made only two to his teammates and his work rate was below standard please coach try someother people who want to die for Pirates by the way congratulations guys can't wait for tommorow!!!!
The Ghost
posted: 10:00 pm
That again is more like it BUCS, but I will NEVER hope until we win it all ... this team has broken my heart so very many times that I am immune now.
Anonymous
posted: 10:04 pm
wer have all pie-rats suppoters been hiding? hehehe pie-rats support their team when they win only. the day they lose u wont even one of them here. anyway we draw u in the semis and teach u lesson . amakhosi everyday u dig?
The Ghost
posted: 10:42 pm
Hai thula wena msunu ka nyoko ... it is silly to be talking about an amakhosikazi Pirates semi final when there is Sundowns to deal with win the game first and then talk. As far as beating Pirates I would say only in your wildest wet dream.
Zwelithini
posted: 10:56 pm
I thought this section is where as supporters are sharing there knowledge of football not insulting please guys let show our passionate about our team criticize where you have to and praise where you have by the way thanks Mabhakaniya coach please field Makhaya just for one game.........
The Ghost
posted: 12:31 am
True Zwilithini, but some of us are not just going to sit back and swallow insults from misguided people just because they hate Pirates, haikhona baba. UP THE BUCS!!! let's enjoy it while it lasts, because you know how in the same breath our team can shoot themselves in the foot just as easily as they can breathe.
Anonymous
posted: 10:11 am
Bhakaniya,pls win dis cup 4 ur loyal supporters n congratulations to tovey n his boys.
The Ghost
posted: 04:43 pm
Eish Thami ... you can say that again.
Treble brace Champ \"Superbrand\"
posted: 08:11 am
Krol is so ever predictable. Why did he start with only one striker and Mdluli. He nearly cost us this game. At least he noticed his mistake and rectified it early. Its for the first time ever that he made a substitution that had an impact timeously.
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