Late Pirates rally sees off Ajax

Thami Nqolobe

Thami Nqolobe

Orlando Pirates silenced their critics when they booted Ajax Cape Town out of the SAA Supa 8 competition with a 2-0 win at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town yesterday.

The game started with the home side attacking fiercely while the visitors were still trying to regroup.

In the eighth minute Buccaneers midfielder Bennet Chenene miss-kicked the ball in the Ajax box following a cross by teammate Jorry Merahe.

Ten minutes later Bucs' Teko Modise also missed a scoring opportunity when his shot went wide from a pass from Paulos Masehe.

The Buccaneers had to replace their injured defender Lucas Thwala with Luntu Madlala in the 36th minute.

Three minutes later the Urban Warriors' defender, Brett Evans, unleashed a powerful shot that flew over the bar after receiving a pass from Sameega Doupie.

The home side stormed Bucs' goal at short intervals but they were denied a goal by goalkeeper Francis Chansa in the 38th minute when he saved from Thembinkosi Fanteni's header off a cross from Doupie.

To make matters worse, in the 54th minute Ajax midfielder Clifford Ngobeni fluffed an easy scoring chance with Chansa to beat, only to be dispossessed after holding on the ball too long.

The Buccaneers made changes in the 59th minute when Joseph Makhanya replaced the off-form Merahe and this move brought Pirates to life.

The Sea Robbers registered their first goal through Chenene whose shot deflected off Clayton Jagers and rolled into the net in the 77th minute.

With their big support in full voice now, Amabhakabhaka took control of the game and were unlucky in the 76th minute when Lucky Lekgwathi overlapped and fed the ball to the unmarked Rudzani Ramudzuli, who shot tamely at Hans Vonk.

Four minutes before the final whistle Ajax substitute Clinton Emmanuel missed a sitter when his shot went wide with Chansa in no man's land.

Pirates sealed the game in the referee's optional time through Ramudzuli, who converted a Masehe cross with his chest.

Pirates join Jomo Cosmos, Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United in the semifinals whose draw will be conducted tomorrow.