Orlando Pirates advanced to the MTN8 final after defeating reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 in the second leg of the semi-final on Saturday afternoon.

Sundowns made only change to the side that edged Marumo Gallants in midweek, as they recalled Aubrey Modiba but they were still without striker Peter Shalulile. Pirates, meanwhile, brought Fortune Makaringe back into the midfield.

The Buccaneers had a bright start as Kermit Erasmus fired them ahead on eight minutes against his former side with a header from close range after some superb work by Monnapule Saleng down the right flank.

Jose Riveiro’s charges looked to catch Sundowns on counter-attacks as on 19 minutes Deon Hotto went through on goal but he was denied a one-on-one chance with goalkeeper Ronwen Williams by Grant Kekana’s crucial interception.

The Soweto giants were pinned back in their own half towards the end of the first stanza but they were not giving much away as Teboho Mokoena threatened with a strike from range that was smothered by goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.

Sundowns changed their approach early in the second stanza as they brought on striker Gift Motupa in place of Gaston Sirino.

The Brazilians had more of a threat from their combination play as Neo Maema came close to finding the equaliser just before the hour-mark with a low strike in the box that missed the bottom corner by a whisker.

The Soweto giants sat deep in their own half as they frustrated Masandawana and Riveiro also made a tactical change with 20 minutes left as Paseka Mako replaced Deon Hotto in a defensive move.

Pirates waited for their moments on counter-attacks and Saleng eventually put the game to bed six minutes before time with a deflected shot into the bottom corner after a square pass by Zakhele Lepasa.

Sundowns did not drop their heads as Motupa almost pulled a goal back a couple of minutes later with a volleyed shot that came off the top of the crossbar.

The game ended with skirmishes in stoppage time as Modiba got a second yellow card and was sent off for Sundowns for blasting a shot at Saleng, who was on the floor.

Saleng dusted himself up and put the icing on the cake for the Buccaneers as he made it 3-0 and completed his brace with a curling strike into top corner, sending the Soweto giants to the final.

Here’s how they line up:

Mamelodi Sundowns: 32. Williams, 25. Mudau, 17. Modiba, 3. De Reuck, 20. Kekana, 34. Mvala, 4. Mokoena, 21. Mkhulise, 18. Zwane, 10. Sirino, 11. Allende

Subs: 14. D.Onyango, 27. Morena, 33. Mailula, 15. Jali, 39. Maboe, 23. Domingo, 19. Motupa, 5. Lebusa, 35. Maema

Orlando Pirates: 40. Mpontshane, 23. Maela, 5. Sibisi, 49. Ndah, 2. Monyane, 4. Timm, 15. Makaringe, 14. Saleng, 11. Hotto, 15. Ndlondlo, 95. Erasmus

Subs: 34. Chaine, 29. Mako, 26. Shandu, 25. Lepasa, 20. Mosele, 18. Dlamini, 9. Makgopa, 12. Makgaka, 6. Motshwari


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