MTN8: Bucs cane students

2014-08-24 00:40

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Orlando Pirates strikers came to the party last night as quality strikes from Kermit Erasmus and Lehlohonolo Majoro steered the Buccaneers to a fifth successive domestic cup final – and a potential clash against Kaizer Chiefs in this year’s MTN8 Cup final.

It was a special night to savour for Majoro as his brace – which came six minutes apart in the closing stages – broke his scoring duck since joining Pirates during the January transfer window last season.

He replaced Erasmus midway into the second half and his volleyed strike and cheeky chip on the stroke of full-time broke Wits’ back. The visitors cancelled out Erasmus’ 53rd-minute wonder goal, courtesy of a 77th-minute penalty by Getaneh Kebede.

Pirates initially survived the scare from a resistant Wits, but the Majoro factor came into play as Pirates advanced.

Erasmus underlined his qualities with a goal that had all the hallmarks of a wonder strike.

It was not the precision at which he fired past Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane, but how the pint-sized striker controlled the ball before turning a defender inside out, creating space that resulted in the goal.

It was a tall order for Wits coming into the match last night as they were trailing 2-0 from the first leg last weekend.

They were somehow more organised than their hosts and coach Gavin Hunt’s men frequented the Bucs goal area, but were unfortunate not have reaped a goal to bring them back into contention.

Midfielders Sibusiso Vilakazi and new signing Sameehg Doutie had a crack at Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, but he responded with confident saves from the two attempts midway into the opening half.

Earlier on, Wits midfielder Vincent Pule had his volleyed effort sail narrowly over the bar.

Pirates, on the other hand, found it difficult to carve up Wits, who handed defender Cornelius Kwakman his debut alongside Buhle Mkhwanazi in central defence.

Wits’ game plan panned out well as they compressed the Buccaneers into smaller spaces and mastered zonal marking most the time, but they fell apart at the crucial stages.

Wits’ poor record over Pirates continued as they have not recorded a win against the Buccaneers since 2011.

Now a mouthwatering Soweto Derby MTN8 Cup final looms large, with Kaizer Chiefs going into today’s second semifinal against Platinum Stars with a two-goal cushion.

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