Mario Booysen had an afternoon to forget, while Vincent Pule and Xola Mlambo continued their excellent run of form as Orlando Pirates booked their spot in the Telkom Knockout final with a 2-1 win against Kaizer Chiefs, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
Thembinkosi Lorch: 8/10
His pace, off-the-ball movement and trickery caused the Chiefs defence all sorts of problems. The winger took his goal excellently and continued to form a telepathic-like understanding with partner-in-crime Pule.
Xola Mlambo: 9/10
Was on the end of some rough treatment from the Chiefs players who clearly had a game plan for the former Chippa United man. Mlambo, however, was undeterred and pulled strings at will. Displayed his excellent range of passing and vision throughout the clash.
Justin Shonga: 7/10
Had a quiet game for much of the clash, but took the one vital chance that fell for him. Showed great composure to find the back of the net after initially fluffing an attempted side volley.
Vincent Pule: 8/10
Was brimming with confidence from the offset. His boundless quality can be summed up in one magical moment, when his exquisite outside-of-the-foot pass found Lorch, who added to a perfect pass with a great first-time finish. The former Bidvest Wits man, who netted the winner in the TKO winner last year, has the opportunity to repeat the feat after helping his side book their spot.
Godfrey Walusimbi: 7/10
The Ugandan defender was one of Chiefs’ best performers in a clash where they were once again tactically outwitted. Walusimbi did well to deal with Bucs tricksters Lorch and Pule, who switched flanks throughout the clash.
Khama Billiat: 6/10
Considering that he registered an assist with a great ball over-the-top for Castro, his inclusion on this list must come as a surprise to many. Truth be told, Billiat’s various strengths were not exploited on the day, due to Chiefs’ defence-first approach.
Lebogang Manyama: 4/10
Misplaced his first six passes of the game, which was perhaps indicative of his lack of match fitness. Looked a shadow of his usual self, often making some poor decisions.
Mario Booysen: 5/10
Misjudged the flight of the ball that led to Pirates’ opener, and it all went downhill from there for the former Mamelodi Sundowns man. Appeared short of confidence and struggled to deal with the pacy, tricky trio of Lorch, Pule and Shonga.
Itumeleng Khune: 6/10
Was let down by his defence on a few occasions, but also didn’t perform to his usual excellent standard. He almost spilled a routine shot and could have arguably been much better in dealing with both either/both of Pirates’ goals.
Jackson Mabogkwane: 6/10
Was Pirates’ worst performer, looked jittery on a number of occasions and was largely to blame for Leonardo Castro’s strike after a miscommunication with Happy Jele.
Photo: Pirates twitter account
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