Sea Robbers cruise past Ajax

Telkom Knockout

Goals from Happy Jele, Siyabonga Sangweni, Lehlohonolo Majoro and Oupa Manyisa saw the Sea Robbers sail to victory, with a Thabiso Nkoana penalty providing scant consolation for Ajax.

With the players playing in puddles of water and braving terrible conditions as the driving rain showed no sign of relenting, it was Pirates who took a 2-0 lead before the interval.

Jele put the Buccaneers 1-0 up on 34 minutes after heading the ball against Tashreeq Morris and into the back of the net from Khethokwakhe Masuku's corner. It was arguably an own-goal as the ball seemed to be heading wide before Morris' interception.

Sangweni doubled his side's lead on the stroke of half-time, towering home a free header, again from Masuku's corner-kick delivery from the right.

Vladimir Vermezovic's side made the result as good as safe right at the start of the second half as Majoro repaid the coach's faith in him with a fantastic goal. Jele's cross from the right found the striker at the near post, and he showed a composed first touch, turned and finished with his left foot to make it 3-0.

Eight minutes later Ajax were handed a lifeline when Thabo Qalinge's clumsy challenge on Abbubaker Mobara handed the visitors a penalty, which Nkoana slotted in off the right-hand upright, 3-1.

But Kermit Erasmus came on for Majoro and played his part in securing the result in the 76th minute after breaking from the halfway line on the counter-attack, cutting inside the defender and sliding it to Manyisa, who took one touch before stabbing the ball underneath Anssi Jaakkola to make it 4-1.

Ajax coach Roger de Sa went more direct towards the end of the second half with Nathan Paulse coming on to cause problems in the wet conditions, but Bucs held firm at the back without any major cause for concern.

The result sees Pirates join SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns in the Telkom Knockout semi-finals, with Kaizer Chiefs taking on Platinum Stars in the last quarter-final on Sunday.