Isaac Chansa opened up the 2010 Telkom Charity Cup in fine style when he scored the tournament?s opening goal with a thunderbolt of a shot to lead Orlando Pirates to a 1-0 victory over AmaZulu FC in the first semi-final on Saturday morning.
The Soccer City stadium, in the heart of Soweto, which hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup final a month ago, was once again packed to the rafters to witness the opening match of this one day football spectacular.
A lot of hype surrounded the tournament and the build-up to it, but the game itself was not as exciting as both sides looked a little ring rusty. However, that was to be expected as both sides looked to iron out any remaining kinks in their final preseason event of the 2010/11 season.
There was very little goal mouth action in the opening 45 minutes. Pirates did though look the smoother of the two teams passing the ball around nicely with Daine Klate and Isaac Chansa looking the most promising players on the pitch for Pirates.
Nevertheless, despite the Buccaneers playing the better football the only real chance of the half fell the way of AmaZulu in the 20th minute.
Some nice build-up play by the Usuthu saw Litha Bgxabi slip a beautiful through ball for Ayanda Dlamini to run onto and with only the keeper to beat. Dlamini, however, squandered the golden opportunity pushing his shot just wide of the target from 12-yards out when he should have scored.
That was about as thrilling as it got in the first half. The second half was more of the same as Pirates pressed forward in search of the opening goal, but their final pass continued to lack the quality that would lead to them breaching the AmaZulu defence.
Eventually in the 60th minute it took a piece of magic from Chansa to break the deadlock. Chasna picked the ball up in some space about 30-yards out from goal and with no other options unleashed a pile-driver that sailed into the bottom right-hand corner of the net, 1-0.
Thereafter, AmaZulu never really looked to threaten the Buccaneers goal. Instead Pirates continued to dictate terms in the middle of the park and comfortably held onto their 1-0 lead to go to the final.