Orlando Pirates are through to the semi-finals following a 4-3 win over SuperSport United on penalties in a match played at the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday
Both Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United started the game with pace going forward, and the visitors missed the target with their first attempt at goal from David Mathebula.
Pirates had two shots on target in the opening five minutes, but SuperSport United goalkeeper Ronwen Williams made comfortable saves.
The home side was dealt with a huge blow in the 15th minute when Collins Mbesuma was forced to leave the field due to an ankle injury, and he was immediately replaced by Lennox Bacela.
Pirates won a free-kick on the right hand side of the pitch in the 22nd minute, but nothing came out of it as Williams punched it away.
Daine Klate came close to opening the scoring in the 25th minute, but his diving header hit the outside of the upright from a well played Andile Jali’s pass.
Senzo Meyiwa had to make a great save to deny Thuso Phala who unleashed from distance in the 28th minute, and the Pirates defence reacted quicker to make a clearance.
SuperSport United were in front in the 31st minute following a headed-own goal from Thabo Matlaba who put under pressure by Mame Niang, and the ball caught Meyiwa off guard into the back of the net.
Mame Niang tried a bicycle-kick from Sibusiso Khumalo’s 37th minute cross, but the lanky striker’s attempt was too close to Meyiwa.
Pirates won a free-kick in a promising area in the last five minutes of the first half, but Klate’s curler was deflected for a corner by Kurt Lentjies.
Matsatsantsa held on to their 1-0 lead despite being under pressure in the dying minutes of the first half.
Pirates started the second half well and Bacela had his shot on target easily saved by Williams in the opening minutes of the half.
Thuso Phala beat Lucky Lekgwathi for pace toward the hour mark, but the Pirates defender forced him to shoot from an awkward angle although it nearly beat Meyiwa who had to parry for a corner.
Pirates grabbed the equalizer in the 61st minute through Lennox Bacela who capitalized from the United defensive error.
Erasmus nearly put Pirates ahead a few minutes later, but his shot went across the face of Williams’ goal.
Meyiwa was forced to great save in the 72nd minute after a low shot from Khumalo bounced in front him, and the Pirates shot-stopper parried for a corner.
Both teams could not penetrate each other’s defence and they were often let down by their final pass in the final third, and the closest was Erasmus who should have played the ball to his teammates inside the United box, but the former SuperSport United man opted to dribble.
Pirates won a free-kick in the dying minutes of the game, as extra time was looming, but Bacela’s shot from a direct free-kick sailed over the bar as the referee blew his final whistle with the two teams locked at 1-1.
SuperSport United restored their lead in the in the 3rd minute of extra time through Mogogi Gabonamong with only Lekgwathi in the Pirates’ goal after Meyiwa was beaten by Niang in the air.
Pirates failed to create any clear-cut chances in the extra time as SuperSport United continued to use Phala’s pace upfront.
However, the home side defended well to at least keep the score line at 2-1 going into the second of extra time.
Lennox Bacela grabbed his second goal of the match with a tap-in from Thulasizwe Mbuyane’s well played cross in the 23rd minute of extra time to send the crowd wild.
It was however, too late for both teams to score the winner as it ended 2-2 after extra time and therefore needing penalties to decide on who progresses to the semi-finals.
Meyiwa was first to save Williams spot-kick, but the SuperSport United keeper made amends by denying Andile Jali.
Mame Niang gave United an advantage with a powerful strike, but Erasmus made it 1-1 with a low penalty kick though Williams guessed the right way.
United were back in front after Maluleke sent Meyiwa the wrong way, but Mahamutsa levelled matters with rather a special goal.
September’s penalty came off the bar and gave Pirates a chance to go in front, and Bacela calmly made it 3-2.
Fransman then made it 3-3, but it was Lekgwathi who ensured Bucs’ progress to the semi-finals with an emphatic finish.