Orlando Pirates put one foot in the MTN8 final with a dominant 3-0 first-leg win at the semi-final stage over Kaizer Chiefs in a behind closed doors Soweto derby at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
AS IT HAPPENED: Orlando Pirates 3-0 Kaizer Chiefs
The Buccaneers settled into the contest the quicker of the two sides and looked more comfortable in possession with Chiefs more rushed, perhaps in light of the occasion.
Despite this, it was the away side who nearly took the lead early in the opening stages, somewhat against the run of play.
Defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza was caught napping in the 10th minute when he misjudged the flight of a diagonal ball to allow Khama Billiat in on goal but the Zimbabwean failed to punish the Pirates defence as he struck the crossbar.
Zakhele Lepasa gave Pirates the lead in the 25th minute with a close-range header after some impressive play by attacking midfielder Terrence Dzvukamanja.
The former Bidvest Wits player drifted into some space down the left flank and played in a dangerous cross that gave Lepasa no option but to score.
Just before the break defender Siyabonga Ngezana had the best chance of the half for Chiefs in the 43rd minute with a free header from five yards out that he managed to put over the crossbar.
Pirates should have doubled their lead in the 45th minute with Vincent Pule only needing to play a pass across goal to the awaiting Lepasa and Dzvukamanja with the ball evading both men.
That's how the first half ended with Josef Zinnbauer's side holding the advantage heading into the break.
Both sides failed to create any clear-cut chances in the early stages of the second period with the two teams cancelling each other out.
Gavin Hunt tried to affect the match by making an early double-change in the 59th minute with Bernard Parker replacing Lebogang Manyama and Happy Mashiane in for Nkosingiphile Ngcobo.
Pule doubled Pirates' lead in the 66th minute after taking a neat touch inside the area before twisting and hitting a low shot past a despairing Daniel Akpeyi.
Thembinkosi Lorch struck the final nail in Chiefs' coffin with a clinical finish after a counter-attack that put the game to bed as a contest in the 81st minute.
The return leg will be contested next Sunday with Kaizer Chiefs having it all to do at the FNB Stadium.
Kick-off is at 15:00.