By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
TLOU “Moletji Express” Segolela scored an all important goals as Orlando Pirates beat rivals Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 the Vodacom Challenge’s eliminator.
The victory this evening at the packed Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape saw the mighty Buccaneers booked themselves a place in the final match of the competition against Tottenham Hotspur.
The final match is scheduled for the Coca Cola Park in Johannesburg on Saturday at 3pm and it remain to be seen if the visitors will take the trophy to beyond the South African borders like they did in 2007 after lifting the title at the expense of Pirates whom they beat 3-0 in the final match.
The final match on Saturday will be the continuation of the Wednesday night’s match between the two giants which ended in a 1-1 draw with courtesy goals of Rafael van der Vaart (for Spur) and Happy Jele (Pirates).
Back to this evening’s match, Chiefs who came to this match highly motivated after having narrowly won 1-0 over Spur in the competition’s opening match played in Polokwane’s Peter Mobaka Stadium, started the match on a high note as they search for an early goal to no avail.
Siphiwe Tshabalala could have put Chiefs in the lead after having taken defenders on a merry-go- around before he could unleash the shot which was parried into corner kick by Pirates goalie, Senzo Meyiwa in the 12th minute. Shabba’s attempt came a minute later after teammate, Knowledge Musona had his attempt dwarfed by Pirates’ newly signed, Siyabonga Sangweni.
Musona came close to scoring again in the 35th minute, but Meyiwa was equally to the task as he parried the ball back to play which found Tshabalala who volleyed the ball over the bars, much to the disappointment of Vladimir Vermezovic.
After a goalless draw at half time, Pirates came back fuming in the second half as they completely stole the limelight with Segolela, Bongani Ndulula and Oupa Manyisa visiting Chiefs’ goal-mouth regularly, and their effort paid off in the 60th minute when Segolela slotted home from a very tight ankle.
This after the hard-running Segolela had connected a good cross from Reuben Cloete before he could beat Khune to the far right corner.
Tonight’s match was the replica of what happened in a similar match played at the EPRU Stadium in Port Elizabeth when Pirates beat Chiefs 1-0 via a goal scored by Bennet Chenene on their way to play Tottenham Hotspur in the final match.
Hotspur went on to beat Pirates 3-0 in that final match which was played at the Loftus Stadium in Tshwane.