Orlando Pirates cruised through to the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup as they brushed aside ALS Puk Tawana with a convincing 4-0 win at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.
A ninth minute goal from Thulasizwe Mbuyane got Pirates off the mark before Phenyo Mongala was able to score a second in the 22nd minute. That was followed up by Ndumiso Mabena heading Dikgang Mabalane?s perfect 34th minute cross home.
It was Mabalane who rounded off the scoring in first half stoppage time.
Pirates, knowing the game was secured, did not press for a fifth although they had a number of opportunities to have found more goals in the second half.
Pirates were clearly in no mood to wait and be pushed about by the Vodacom League side and were out to stamp their authority on the game early on. It took just six minutes for the Buccaneers to have a crack at goal: Isaac Chansa?s lob from the edge of the Pirates 18-yard area floated over Puk Tawana keeper Marosha and skimmed the outside of the post.
Unlike their accomplished performance in putting out Platinum Stars in the previous round, Tawana were a lot less sure of themselves in this encounter. It was a comedy of errors which saw them give away a corner in the ninth minute. Josephy Kamwendo turned it in for Mbuyane, who strode unmarked on to the ball and banged it home from a few yards from goal to put Pirates into an early lead.
Tawana looked worthy of their giant killing reputation from the previous round when they were able to string a number of passes together in the 13th minute; the move set up Mishack Ramahuma who shot for goal from around 20 yards out but Senzo Meyiwa was hardly troubled as he stretched out to smother the ball.
After letting a few clear cut goal scoring opportunities pass them by, Pirates extended their lead in the 22nd minute. Mbuyane battled with Puk Tawana defender Wandisile Letlabika inside the visitor?s 18 yard area and was then able to play the ball to the left where Mongala had the simple job of hitting the ball home from a few yards out and he duly did so, scoring goal number two.
Pirates then got goal number three, with Mabalane managing to outsprint the defence as he chased a long ball on the right flank; his pass into the box was headed down onto the bottom of the post and home by Mabena. Despite Marosha getting a touch to the ball, the power of the effort took it over the line.
Things got worse for Tawana as the ever troublesome Mabalane finally got a goal. Kamwendo got the ball to him and on the edge of the 18-yard area and he skipped past two defenders and hit the ball wide of Marosha?s outstretched left hand to see Pirates score goal number four.
Puk Tawana were managing to frustrate Pirates with some better defending in the second half and knowing that the game could not be lost, Pirates showed no urgency in front of goal, as was the case in the 52nd minute when Mabena tried a spectacular chip which the keeper was able to save ? he should have blasted the ball home when played in on goal by Mabalane instead.
Pirates? final act of the match saw second half substitute Mduduzi Nyanda unable to beat Marosha in a one-on-one situation. The Puk Tawana keeper closed down the angle for him and blocked his shot by throwing his body on the line.