We come off a weekend of the MTN8 cup competition where we witnessed some interesting score lines and some opposing disappointments and happiness from rivals. Mamelodi Sundowns were beaten 3-0 by Orlando Pirates in their 2nd clash of the semi finals, while Kaizer Chiefs were victims of the away goal rule, after a 0-0 draw in the 2nd leg against AmaZulu. Moses Mabhida now awaits to host the final to take place between AmaZulu vs Orlando Pirates on 5th November 2022, a game that is expected to gather a large crowd.
22 October saw the clash of Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates get underway for their 2nd leg meeting of the semi-finals. It didn’t take too long for the Buccaneers to celebrate, when former Sundowns striker Kermit Erasmus scored his first goal for Pirates since making his return to Orlando to make it 1-0 to against his former club inside 8 minutes. Monnapule Saleng, who has quickly become a fan-favourite, was pulling all the strings down the right flank and it was him who did everything to keep the ball in and play an aerial cross for Erasmus to nod in from close range. Many were expecting Sundowns to quickly respond to them trailing but it couldn’t seem to be going right for the Tshwane club and so the teams went into the break with Sundowns trailing 1-0 (1-01 on aggregate).
It was in the last 10 minutes of the match that the 2nd half brought something to the fans, as matters got worse for Sundowns, failing to adhere to the “play by the whistle” rule and ultimately suffering as a result. Mamelodi Sundowns players thought the ball had gone out of play from a Lepasa interception, and so did not attempt to close him down as they were anticipating the referee’s whistle which never came. The Pirates left winger carried on play and was able to play the ball through to Saleng, who dragged the ball back to create space for himself before placing the ball past Williams into the bottom right corner to make it 2-0 to Pirates (82 minutes), Saleng once again involved in a Pirates goal.
Gift Motupa had a chance to pull one back in the 86th minute from a cross that he acrobatically met but his effort could only graze the top of the crossbar before going over the goal. Aubrey Modiba received a 2nd yellow card in the 90th minute and was sent off after a foul on Monnapule Saleng. To rub the salt into the Sundowns wounds, Orlando Pirates took full advantage of the extra man and were able to notch in a 3rd goal to claim a priceless win over the reigning MTN8 champions. Once again it was Saleng who put the Sundowns defence to the sword, after a clearance turned counter attack was initiated at the back by the Pirates defence, the ball fell to the Pirates #14 who was in acres of space and onside. He did well to control the ball and fire past Williams for the 2nd time in the game to wrap up the game and send Orlando Pirates to the final at Moses Mabhida in style.
Before Durban becomes the area to host the final, it was home to a clash between KZN side AmaZulu and Soweto giants, Kaizer Chiefs for the 2nd leg of their semi-final. AmaZulu had managed to get a precious away goal when they visited Kaizer Chiefs and the game ended 1-1 in the 1st leg of their semi-final. The 2nd leg at the Moses Mabhida Stadium lacked any real chance from the two sides but the supporters were still lively after seemingly good performances from both sides. However, both teams lacked any real goal threat and there was no shot on target recorded from the 15 shots they accumulated at a combined count. The match ended 0-0 and Usuthu went through to the final where they will be based at home, set to meet Orlando Pirates. The Durban-based team derailed any plans of a Soweto Derby MTN8 final, instead booking their place after a solid defensive performance from them, where former Chiefs midfielder George Maluleka picked up the Man of the Match award.
The MTN8 final between AmaZulu and Orlando Pirates will be played at the Moses Mabhida stadium on the 5th of November, 2 weeks from now.