Sundowns show their class to bury Pirates, book place in Nedbank Cup semi-finals

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Mamelodi Sundowns (Gallo Images)
Mamelodi Sundowns (Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns advanced to the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup after outclassing Orlando Pirates to win 4-1 in a thrilling encounter at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Thursday.

Goals by Themba Zwane, Lesedi Kapinga and captain Hlompho Kekana followed a Peter Shalulile opener for the Brazilians as Thsegofatso Mabasa struck a consolation goal for the Buccaneers.

It was a dominant performance from Sundowns that solidified their status as this country's premier football club. 

Sundowns were first to strike with the in-form Shalulile giving the hosts the lead in the 11th minute with a clinical low strike after a quality pass over the top by Rivaldo Coetzee.

The home side continued to look threatening during the opening 20 minutes with Coetzee dictating the game from a deep-lying midfield position.

Sundowns continued to look the more comfortable in possession and were the more likely to double their lead as Pirates struggled to find their feet.

Shalulile missed a golden opportunity to do just that after rounding goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands following excellent combination play with Gaston Sirino, but he lingered on the ball too long.

The reigning PSL champions were then in formidable form as they strengthened their grip on the game.

Against the run of play, Pirates struck back through Mabasa with what was their first real attack of the game.

In typical fashion, the Buccaneers struck after a dangerous transitional play with all three attackers involved in a sweeping move as Deon Hotto played in the lethal Mabasa.

Pirates came close to taking the lead as Gabadinho Mhango found space inside the area only to be denied by the woodwork as his powerful effort hit the crossbar.

I the second half, Sundowns showed their pedigree and they retook the lead in the 48th minute thanks to Zwane, who coolly slotted home after rounding Sandilands.

The home side stretched their lead when substitute Kapinga finished a smart move to score his second goal for the club in the 77th minute.

Captain Kekana came off the bench to put the icing on the cake for Sundowns as he struck a signature long-range strike in the 85th minute to make the score 4-1.

Despite the Buccaneers' efforts to get back into the game, Sundowns possessed just too much quality on the day as they marched to the semi-finals.

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