The Real Footie Analyst

Pirates sail into Cup semi-final

Top-ranked Orlando Pirates cruised into the semi-finals of the South African Cup, with a 1-0 win over the Free State Stars on Monday.

Playing to a jubilant home crowd at Soweto’s Orlando Stadium, the Pirates scored the victory even though a red card on goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa left them with 10 men for the last 30 minutes of the game.

In the first half, the Pirates tried long-range shots that were easily saved by goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene. Stars top scorer Noah Chivuta skimmed the top of the net in the 28th minute, but the game was goal-less at half-time.

Happy Jele took the only goal of the game with a header in the 54th minute. Moments later Meyiwa dashed off his line and tripped up the Stars attacker Noah Chivuta just outside the penalty area, prompting the red card in the 61st minute.

With the Pirates outnumbered, the Stars repeatedly tested third-choice goalkeeper Jacob Mokhasi. But he blocked not only the penalty kick but also saved a seemingly certain 74th-minute goal by Stars striker Madoda Motha, who tried to power the ball into the net at close range.

The victory puts the Pirates into the 14-15 May semi-finals. Their last-four match will pit the Premiership’s top-ranked team against the bottom-ranked Mpumalanga Black Aces at Orlando Stadium.

Third division Baroka FC will play a home game against the second-division Black Leopards, setting the stage for a final match that will pit a lower-division team against a Premiership side — the kind of clash that the Cup is best known for.


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