SuperSport edge Bucs 1-0 to claim TKO final spot

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Jeremy Brockie and Aubrey Modiba of Supersport United celebrate victory as Issa Sarr of Orlando Pirates looks dejected after the 2016 Telkom Knockout match between the Supersport United and Orlando Pirates at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

JOHANNESBURG - SuperSport United hung on in the face of severe late pressure from Orlando Pirates to record a 1-0 Telkom Knockout semifinal win at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday evening.

They will meet Cape Town City, who beat Free State Stars 4-1 earlier on the day, in the final.

The only goal was scored by Thabo Mnyamane, midway through the first half, which had proved an evenly contested affair. The second half became all about hanging on for Matsatsantsa as they propelled wave after wave of Pirates attacks.

READ: SuperSport United hammers Orlando Pirates 6-1, coach quits

Early on, the game moved from end to end with both sides looking very dangerous on attack.

Bafana Bafana team-mates Bradley Grobler and Mpho Makola narrowly missed the target for SuperSport and Pirates respectively.

SuperSport took the lead on 21 minutes when a long ball was flicked on by Michael Boxall into the path of Mnyamane, who showed great endeavour to force his way right through the heart of the Bucs defence, brushing off a defender and the keeper before slotting the ball home.

The sea robbers though kept on coming at the SuperSport goal, Reyaad Pieterse doing well to palm away Luvoyo Memela’a stinging shot before Thabo Matlaba fired wide and Thabo Rakhale wasted a great chance to level after Memela had located him at the back post.

SuperSport had chances to increase their lead after halftime, but Bucs keeper Jackson Mabokgwane did well to palm away Dean Furman’s stinging 51st minute drive before Clayton Daniels fired over on the volley from the resultant corner.

READ: SuperSport edge Downs on penalties

But as the half progressed, Pirates increased the pressure on the Matsatsantsa defence and were nearly on level terms when Thabo Qalinge’s powerful 69th minute drive deflected off the outside of the upright.

The Soweto side kept on coming at the SuperSport goal, but the Tshwane team were committed and determined in defence.

Pirates were reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute after Thabo Matlaba hacked down Jeremy Brockie.

Kingston Nkhatha spurned a chance to give United breathing room when he dragged a late shot wide, Stuart Baxter’s side then needing a superb 87th minute save from Pieterse to tip Qalinge’s 87th minute pile-drive over goal as they just about made it to the finish line.