Orlando Pirates had a relatively hassle-free path into the Nedbank Cup last eight as they ran out 3-1 winners over United FC at the Seisa Ramobodu Stadium on Saturday night.
Also on the day, Vasco da Gama also sailed through to the quarterfinals by defeating Platinum Stars 2-0 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. First half goals from Keenin Lesch (25min) and Jonathan Armogam (45) handed the Cape side a deserved victory against a home team which lacked ambition.
In Bloemfontein, Piartes did not have it easy against first division’s United, despite enjoying better ball possession and national team players in its ranks.
The visiting team took a 2-0 lead into the half time break, but did endure some nervy moments after Junior Khanye pulled back a goal with 30 minutes left, however, Dikgang Mabalane added a third for Pirates to ensure a relatively comfortable win.
Pirates opened the scoring as early as the 10th minute, through the header of opposition striker Lungisani Ndlela for an own goal. Ndlela, the former Moroka Swallows striker, amateurishly connected a corner kick taken by Tlou Segolela, and headed into a wrong net.
Chiukepo Msowoya could also have added another goal, but headed wide from Dikgang Mabalane’s cross. After 27 minutes the Soweto side doubled their lead when Oupa Manyisa latched onto Makeso’s clearance from a cross and drilled a swerving effort into the roof of the net from some distance – a wonderful strike for his first goal in Pirates colours.
Pirates keeper Senzo Meyiwa was only tested for the first time in the 34th minute, when he had to get down sharply to block Thembile Kanono’s well-struck effort from the edge of the area.
Kanono had an excellent game and for the most part got the better of his counterpart, Andile Jali.
Bucs though could have added a third before half time, but from only 12-yards out Msowoya fired off target.
Segolela also came close with a curling effort just before the break, which was followed by Thulasizwe Mbuyane firing off-target.
Mbuyane nearly squeezed a shot over the line in the 50th minute, but from an angle Maseko was able to get enough on the ball to keep it out, aided by defender Shobela Leseba.
Eight minutes later United were back in the game when substitute and former Chiefs winger Junior Khanye showed excellent technique to fire home a back-post cross.
Ndlela had the chance to underline United’s growing confidence, but just could not get a 70th minute effort on target.
But five minutes later Mabalane ended the home team’s hopes of a comeback when he snuck in behind the defence, chested down Segolela’s ball and finished neatly.
This enabled the Buccaneers to coast through the final minutes of the game as United’s spirit fell away somewhat.
United FC (0) 1 (Khanye 58’)
Orlando Pirates (2) 3 (Ndlela o.g 10’, Manyisa 28’, Mabalane 75’)
United: (4-4-2) Maseko; Matuka, Sekete, Nxele, Kibe (Khanye 39’); Moeletsi, De Wee (Mafoka 59’); Rapulane, Kanono; Masotho, Ndlela
Pirates (4-4-2): Meyiwa, Johannes, Lekgwathi, Cloete, Mabalane, Jali, Manyisa, Segolela (Mayambela 81’); Mbuyane (Malokase 74’), Msowoya (Ndlula 85’