Pirates through to TKO Semis
Orlando Pirates thrashed AmaZulu FC 3-1 in the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup quarterfinal match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
The win saw the Buccaneers advance to the semifinals, while Usuthu bowed out of the competition.
The two goalkeepers were not tested in the first 15 minutes of the game as the two teams lost possession in the final third.
Usuthu were awarded free-kicks near the visitors’ box, but they could not test Bucs goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane from the set-pieces.
The Buccaneers grew into the match and they came very close to scoring three minutes before the half-hour mark.
Thembinkosi Lorch found himself in a one-on-one situation with AmaZulu keeper Siyabonga Mbatha, who made a brilliant save to deny the Pirates attacker.
Lorch did beat Mbatha in the 36th minute when he scored with a low shot to make it 1-0 to Pirates after being sent through on goal by Vincent Pule.
However, the hosts responded with a goal as Bongi Ntuli headed home to make it 1-1 for AmaZulu in the 39th minute with the Pirates defence caught ball watching.
AmaZulu and Pirates were locked at 1-1 during the half-time break.
Usuthu were happy to sit back and launch quick counter-attacks after the restart with Emiliano Tade working tirelessly for the home side.
The Argentine striker’s shot went inches wide of the target following a quick move by the KwaZulu-Natal giants 10 minutes after the hour-mark.
Lorch and Justin Shonga had a glorious opportunity to snatch a late winning goal for Pirates in the dying minutes of the game, but the duo failed to punish AmaZulu.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw in regulation time and extra-time followed in the city of Durban.
It took only three minutes for Xola Mlambo to restore the visitors’ lead as he scored with a low shot to make it 2-1 to Pirates.
AmaZulu had to push for forward in search of another equalizing goal, but their defence was exposed and they were punished by Lorch.
The attacker scored with a powerful shot to make it 3-1 to the visitors in the 107th minute – sealing Pirates’ 3-1 win in extra-time with AmaZulu hardman Sammy Darpoh receiving a red card in stoppage time of extra-time.
AmaZulu (1) 1 (Ntuli 39′)
Pirates (1) 3 (Lorch 36′, 107′, Mlambo 93′)