JOHANNESBURG — Orlando Pirates beat Moroka Swallows 2-1 in a Telkom Knockout Cup quarter-final thanks to a brace from Benni McCarthy on Saturday night.
After scoring the game’s opening goal, Luvhengo Mungomeni made a horrible mistake in defence which allowed Pirates to steal the ball and consequently score the match’s winning goal.
Still, take nothing away from Man of the Match, Benni McCarthy, who scored a brace on the night, including one of the goals of the season, to take the Buccaneers to the semifinals of the Telkom KnockOout.
The first 45 minutes saw Pirates with more ball possession, but unable to really create any decent opportunities on goal. Instead, the better chances of the half fell to the Dube Birds despite them seeing very little of the ball.
Pirates first scare in defence came in the 11th minute when Siyabonga Nomvete slipped a beautifully through-ball for Lerato Chabangu to run onto and with only Moeneeb Josephs to beat. Luckily for Pirates, the striker’s first touch was a poor one and it allowed the keeper to smother him and steal the ball.
Pirates’ best chance of the half came six minutes later when Isaac Chansa drove into the box on a good run, but he saw his six-yard shot superbly saved by Greg Etafia.
In the 18th minute, however, Nomvete should really have given the home side the lead when he snuck in front of Josephs at the front post to meet a Joseph Makhanya right wing cross, but the striker headed wide from four yards out.
In the 38th minute Swallows had another great chance to score when Luvhengo Mungomeni squandered a great chance from ten yards out. After making his way into the box and with only the keeper to beat, the defender fired well wide under no pressure.
The second 45 saw Pirates start the half a little flustered and Swallows made them pay when it appeared Mungomeni made up for his first half miss with the Bird’s opening goal.
After Pirates failed to convincingly clear a corner-kick in the 66th minute, Nomvete latched onto the lose bal on the left side of the box and drove a low cross across the face of goal which Mungomeni side-footed home from a couple yards out.
After going behind Pirates quickly fought back and equalized in the 73rdminute when McCarthy scored one of the goals of the season.
The veteran striker drove a thunderbolt 35-yard free-kick into the top right-hand corner, giving the keeper no chance.
Six minutes later and McCarthy become the hero for Pirates on the night when Mungomeni become the villain of the match for the Birds.
The Swallows defender tried to dribble out of defence and lost the ball after being tackled by Oupa Manyisa.
The midfielder then played a square pass from the right to an unmarked McCarthy inside the 18-yard area and with only the keeper to beat the striker made no mistake slipping the ball past a stranded Etafia.