ORLANDO Pirates booked a place in the MTN8 final after playing to a 1-1 draw with Kaizer Chiefs in the second leg of their semifinal at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday.
Goals from Bernard Parker and Lennox Bacela saw the match locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes, but Bucs advanced 2-1 on aggregate thanks to a 1-0 win in the first leg last month.
Chiefs settled the quicker of the two teams and proceeded to dominate possession in the middle of the park, forcing Bucs onto the back foot.
Their first real effort at goal arrived in the 13th minute when a Knowledge Musona shot from a tight angle was well saved by Senzo Meyiwa.
Neither side was holding back in the challenges and Willard Katsande, Daine Klate and Lennox Bacela all found themselves in the referee’s book within the opening half hour.
Just as Pirates began to get a foothold in the game, with the pace and energy of Kermit Erasmus a particular threat, they were hit by a goal from a set piece in the 36th minute.
Tefu Mashamaite powered a header on target from a corner kick, Meyiwa pulled off a brilliant save to keep it out, but Bernard Parker forced home the rebound from close range to put Amakhosi ahead.
Parker’s strike saw the cup tie level at 1-1 on aggregate heading into the halftime break. The start of the second half saw Pirates introduce Sifiso Myeni off the bench, and the former Bidvest Wits man immediately livened up the hosts’ attack.
Pirates almost drew level from a corner kick midway through the second stanza, as Siyabonga Sangweni’s header back across goal was put onto the crossbar by Lehlogonolo Masalesa, while Happy Jele missed out on the rebound.
Just when Chiefs thought they had weathered the storm, they gave away a soft penalty that proved their downfall in the tie. Morgan Gould was guilty of pulling Rooi Mahamutsa’s shirt at a corner kick.
Lennox Bacela coolly converted the spot kick in the 76th minute to level the match at 1-1 and put Pirates 2-1 up on aggregate.
The dying minutes saw both sides create chances, the best of which fell the way of Chiefs substitute Lehlohonolo Majoro deep in injury time. He showed great composure and skill in the box to work a shooting chance, but then blazed his effort wide.
Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Bacela 76’ pen)
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Parker 36’)
Pirates won 2-1 on aggregate
Orlando Pirates: Meyiwa, Jele, Mahamutsa, Sangweni, Phungwayo, Segolela (Myeni 46’), Manyisa, Masalesa, Klate, Erasmus (Moholo 80’), Bacela (Gabuza 86’)
Kaizer Chiefs: Khune, Gaxa (Majoro 89’), Mashamaite, Gould, Masilela, Katsande, Tshabalala (Dladla 81’), Letsholonyane, Nkosi (Nkhatha 58’), Parker, Musona.-Backpage TXT