Pirates down Arrows to reach final
Posted: 21 May 2017 Time: 13:26
Orlando Pirates secured a second successive Nedbank Cup final berth as they edged Golden Arrows 1-0 at Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Abbubaker Mobara’s first-half header proved the difference on the day to set up a repeat of last year’s final as the Buccaneers will now face SuperSport United in the showpiece clash after Matsatsantsa’s victory over Chippa United on Saturday.
Pirates saw plenty of the ball in the opening stages and came close to a third-minute lead following some excellent build-up play from the back, although Thamsanqa Gabuza’s final ball into the area failed to find a team-mate as the chance went begging.
Arrows weren’t without their own threat, though, and came close with a free-kick which Jackson Mabokgwane did well to hold onto after the ball had come through a crowd of bodies.
From that save, the keeper sparked a blistering counter-attack with an excellent throw, although Dove Wome was unable to find an end product to the move as he lashed a fierce shot just wide of the post.
Kjell Jonevret’s side continued pressing and worked another good chance midway through the first-half, only for Thabo Matlaba to drill his shot from the edge of the area straight at Nkosingiphile Gumede.
With 34 minutes gone, the Buccaneers finally made the breakthrough as Mpho Makola’s free-kick found the near-post run of Abbubaker Mobara, who smartly headed the ball down into the ground and beyond the goalkeeper.
Pirates had a big chance to make it 2-0 five minutes before half-time as Thabo Matlaba beat the offside trap to receive a ball over the top before looking to set up a tap-in for Gabuza, only for Limbikani Mzava to rob the ball off his toe at the last second.
Arrows started the second-half brightly and managed to test Mabokgwane with 49 minutes gone, although the keeper was equal to the challenge as he got behind Nduduzo Sibiya’s curling shot to make a decent save.
The hosts again came close shortly after the hour mark as Kudakwashe Mahachi put in an excellent delivery, all the ball evaded everyone in the area before bouncing harmlessly behind for a goal-kick.
Bucs almost snatched a second goal with 67 minutes gone as Oupa Manyisa was played in behind the channel before running at the by-line and cutting the ball back, although Bilankulu was well-placed to make a vital interception before clearing off the attacker.
Arrows almost snatched an equaliser in second-half stoppage time but were desperately unlucky to see Nduduzo Sibiya’s free-kick crash off the crossbar.
Arrows: Gumede, Mthiyanew, Mzava, Mathiane, Dlamini, Bilankulu, Magubane (Lamola 52'), Mahachi, Sibiya, Jooste (Ntanga75'), Mutizwa (Sibeko 64')
Unused subs: Mbaeva, Molefe, Mngwenge, Sibisi
Pirates: Mabokgwane, Mobara, Jele, Matlaba, Van Heerden, Manyisa, Sarr, Makola (Shitolo 78'), Rakhale, Wome (Norodien 72'), Gabuza
Subs: Mhlonho, Gcaba, Nyauza, Memela, Ndoro
HOME: Golden Arrows
Coach: Clinton Larsen