Mamelodi Sundowns advanced to the Nedbank Cup semi-finals after cruising to a comfortable 4-1 victory over Orlando Pirates at Loftus Stadium on Thursday evening.
The Brazilians welcomed back Gaston Sirino in place of the suspended Lyle Lakay, while the Buccaneers recalled duo Thulani Hlatshwayo and Thabang Monare to their starting lineup.
Sundowns got off to the perfect start and took the lead in the 12th minute when Rivaldo Coetzee picked out Peter Shalulile, who fired the ball past Wayne Sandilands from the edge of the box.
Pirates had a chance to level matters in the 23rd minute when Deon Hotto tried to find Tshegofatso Mabasa with a neat pass, but Rushine De Reuck did well to intercept the ball in a one-on-one situation.
The Buccaneers eventually equalised in the 32nd minute when Gabadinho Mhango’s shot-cum-cross fell to Mabasa, who slotted the ball into an empty net.
Gaston Sirino had a chance to restore his side’s lead five minutes later but the Uruguayan fired his shot straight into the hands of Sandilands.
Mhango was unfortunate not to give his side the lead five minutes from the break after he latched on to a loose ball before rattling the crossbar with his effort as the game went into the break at 1-1.
The Brazilians were the quickest out the blocks and restored their lead two minutes into the second half after Themba Zwane danced past the Pirates keeper before slotting the ball home.
Lebohang Maboe had a chance to make it 3-1 in the 59th minute but blazed his side-footed effort across the face of goal before Mosa Lebusa won the ball high up the pitch to line up his shot, only to fire his effort just over the bar four minutes later.
Sandilands then came to his side’s rescue in the 67th minute when he made a full stretched save to deny Zwane’s curling effort, which was headed into the top corner.
Pirates nearly made it 2-2 in the 71st minute after Fortune Makaringe’s cross was directed towards goal by a deflection from Lebusa, drawing an acrobatic save from Onyango.
Sundowns eventually managed to grab their third goal in the 77th minute when Lesedi Kapinga curled his impressive strike in off the post from the edge of the box, with Sandilands rooted to the spot.
The home side put the game beyond Pirates with four minutes left to play after Hlompho Kekana unleashed his trademark strike from distance to find the bottom corner to ensure his side progress into the last four of the competition.
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