SuperSport reach MTN8 semis via penalty shootout

SuperSport United kept their hopes of defending the 2018 MTN8 Cup alive by defeating Orlando Pirates 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

As a result, Matsatsantsa advanced to the semifinals of the lucrative competition, while the Buccaneers are eliminated from the tournament.

The Buccaneers looked dangerous whenever they pushed forward in the early exchanges with Augustine Mulenga leading their attack.

The hard-working forward, who joined Bucs from Zambian side Zanaco last January, tried his luck from range eight minutes into the game.

However, his effort went wide of SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams' goal-posts as the Buccaneers looked to grab an early lead.

Pirates did open the scoring in the 14th minute through Mulenga, who combined with Linda Mntambo, before firing past Williams to make it 1-0 to Pirates.

SuperSport grew in confidence as the game progressed and they threatened through Teboho Mokoena in the 27th minute.

The 21-year-old midfielder's powerful low shot beat Pirates keeper Siyabonga Mpontshane, but the ball shaved the upright and Bucs survived a scare.

However, Matsatsantsa kept pushing and they managed to restore parity through their inspirational captain Dean Furman in the 33rd minute.

The South Africa international combined with Evans Rusike, before firing past Mpontshane with a curling effort to make it 1-1 for SuperSport.

Pirates then pushed forward in numbers in the closing stages of the first half with the visitors looking to contain the hosts.

Bucs marksman Justin Shonga's goal-bound effort was brilliantly blocked by SuperSport defender Clayton Daniels eight minutes before the interval.

The score was 1-1 at half-time following an enthralling first-half.

Matsatsantsa were the better side in the opening stages of the second-half and they deservedly took the lead four minutes after the restart.

Bradley Grobler set-up Rusike, who beat Mpontshane with a low shot from inside the box to make it 2-1 to SuperSport with the Bucs defence exposed.

However, the lead only lasted for 11 minutes as the Buccaneers managed to restore parity through Gladwin Shitolo.

The defender directed Pirates team-mate Xola Mlambo's effort into the back of the net - beating Williams hands down to make it 2-2 for Pirates.

SuperSport head coach Kaitano Tembo introduced English striker James Keene in the closing stages of the second-half as the visitors looked to snatch a late winner.

However, the last chance of the second-half fell for Vincent Pule in the 84th minute after Thamsanqa Gabuza's shot was parried into his path by Williams and the Pirates winger fired over the crossbar.

The match ended in a 2-2 stalemate in regulation time and extra-time followed following another entertaining half.

The Buccaneers did most of the attacking and they were awarded a penalty in the second -half of extra-time after Gabuza was fouled inside the SuperSport box by Morgan Gould.

However, Williams produced a good save to deny Mulenga from the resultant penalty - ensuring that the game ended in a 2-2 draw and a penalty shootout followed.

SuperSport went on to win 4-3 on penalties after Williams denied Innocent Maela and Thembinkosi Lorch missed the target.

Pirates (1) 2 (Mulenga 15', Shitolo 60')
SuperSport (1) 2 (Furman 33', Rusike 49')

SuperSport won 4-3 on penalties.

Pirates: Mpontshane, Jele, Shitolo, Maela, Thopola, Mntambo (Lorch 56'), Mlambo, Motshwari, Pule (Mahachi 97'), Shonga (Gabuza 82'), Mulenga.

SuperSport: Williams, Lungu, Bhasera, Daniels (Gould 46'), Khumalo, Mokoena, Letsholonyane, Furman, Grobler (Keene 78'), Rusike and Phala Lakay 66').