KATLEGO Mashego rose from the bench to score Orlando Pirates’ all important goal in the 81st minute as they beat rivals Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 to reach the final of the MTN 8.
Not only did the goal brought Pirates closer to lifting their first silver-ware in a decate, but it was also the goal that steered the mighty Buccaneers to pull their first victory against fellows Soweto giants in a cup match in 12 years.
Chiefs who came to this match with an added advantage after scoring an away goal in the first leg of this semifinal which ended 1-1 a forthnight ago looked like they would emerge victors and proceed to the final against Moroka Swallows who brushed aside Ajax Cape Town with a 3-2 victory in another semifinal match yesterday, but it was not meant as Mashego had another idea.
Chiefs however will have themselves to blame after misusing a number of scoring opportunities with unmarked Jimmy Tau failing to finish off Reneilwe Letsholonyana’s pass in the 14th minute.
Mthokozisi Yende came closer to guide Chiefs in the lead, but the former Pretoria University hit the side-bar with Pirates’ Moneeb Josephs well beaten.
Otorogu was using his strength to hold the Chiefs rearguard at bay to good effect and in the 20th minute was able to create two opportunites for his team. First up he managed to feed the ball back to Isaac Chansa, who drilled the ball from 18 yards straight at Khune.
A few seconds later Otorogu managed to control a long ball from Moeneeb Josephs before laying it off from the right to Daine Klate – his effort on goal resembled a pass back to the goalkeeper and did not trouble Khune.
Some good all round build up work from Chiefs saw Mandla Masango tee up Siphiwe Tshabalala in the 24th minute with a ball along the ground from the left which Tshabalala belted goal-ward. Josephs only managed to block the ball and was bailed out by Klate, who booted clear the rebound.
The final action of the first half saw Khune punch clear Dikgang Mabalane’s free kick from the left.
In the second half Chiefs went on the offensive early on. In the 51st minute Khune’s long searching kick from the back went over the Pirates defenders – Knowledge Musona ran onto the ball, but his lob over Josephs from the edge of the Pirates 18 yard missed the target.
Six minutes later Masango’s shot was deflected and the ball fell to Yende, who was a few yards from goal. He hesitated at first when the ball fell to him but he did unleash a powerful volley which beat Josephs, but to Pirates’ reprieve the ball crashed against the crossbar.
Musona and Sthembiso Ngcobo squandered goal scoring chances within the space of a few minutes before Pirates struck a killer blow.
A cross by from the right Mark Mayambela went under Dominic Isaacs and hit Katlego Mashego before beating Khune at his far post, putting Pirates in front in the 81st minute.
Pirates had the opportunity to seal the match when they were awarded a penalty after Nahayo had pulled back Tlou Segolela but Rooi Mahamutsa could only blaze his spot kick over the bar in the 87th minute.-psl website