By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
ORLANDO Pirates could find themselves paying a heavy price after their fans turned what was supposed to be an exciting second leg of the MTN 8 against SuperSport United was tuned into an ugly scene which was marred by ugly scenes of missile throwing.
The game at the Orlando Stadium last night started on a high note with both sides displaying an outstanding performance, but somehow things went wrong late in the first half when one Bennie McCarthy loud-mouth was given his marching orders for unruly behavior on United’s Franklyn Cale, much to the dissatisfaction of the mighty Buccaneers fans who came in their large numbers. McCarthy who was totally off-form had taken his frustration to Cale for a bad-tackled Daine Klate, leaving Robert Smith no choice but to flush a red card.
For the record, Matsatsantsa A Pitori went on to win the match 3-0 despite the ugly scenes which saw their goalkeeper, Rowen Fenandez suffering some serious threat after a two crickets were thrown at him on a separate occasions.
Earlier before they were reduced to ten men, Pirates suffered some early night-mares as United pilled a lot of pressure, searching for a leading goal but the home side hung on to dear life.
United who knew that a lead will frustrate the home side tried their best in hunting for that goal, but their chance went up in smoke after Mor Diouf send wide in the 14th minute with Moneeb Josephs well beaten.
Seven minute later, Josephs was forced to stop what was supposed to a spectacular goal by Roscoe Pietersen.
United were not done as they inflicted more night-mares for the home side, and this time through Nathan Paulse who took Lucky Lekgwathi on a merry-go-round before he could unleashed a volley that found Jospehs equally ready to save the home side from conceding a goal in the 25th minute.
Pirates however did get their chance for goals in the 34th minute with the live-wired Sifiso Myeni trying his best, but it was not their day. The former BidVest Wits captain could have put Pirates in the lead after he got the best of Pietersen but his shot was saved by Fernandez to force the game to goalless at break.
Taking the advantage of their opponents’one man missing, t he Gavin hunt’s coached side totally stole the limelight from the home side. This despite Pirates’ attempt for a goal in the 60th minute through Matlaba whose shot was stopped by Fernandez.
Ashley Hartog silenced Pirates fans when he opened the flood-gate of goal, beating the bewildered Josephs to the far corner in the 62nd minute.
Substitutes, Clifford Mulenga who came in for Cale in the 63rd minute and Mabhidi Khenyeza (Hartog ’84) put the matter beyond doubt when they slotted home in the 79th and 89th minutes respectively. This despite the chaotic scenes which saw Pirates fans throwing everything at their disposal including their vuvuzelas in the pitch.
United will play the winner between Moroka Swallows and Mamelodi Sundowns in the final match of this competition. Swallows and Sundowns whose first leg match finished in a 3-3 draw take each other at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto this afternoon.