Fired up Orlando Pirates bury Sundowns in Limpopo

Monnapule Saleng - Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

A fired up Orlando Pirates buried hapless Mamelodi Sundowns in Limpopo to book a place in the MTN8 final.

Two goal hero Monnapule Saleng put on a man of the match performance with two late strikes to hammer the final on the Sundowns coffin, after Kermit Erasmus opened the floodgates for the Ghost, with a perfectly placed header in the 8th minute.

The Soweto giants booked their place in the final with a 3-0 aggregate win.

In a day when Pirates played the game of their lives, Sundowns were simply outsmarted, and had no answers to the attacking prowess of the Sea Robbers.

Wide winger Saleng, in particular, looked dangerous each time he had the ball. It was no surprise when he combined with Thabiso Monyane to create the goal Erasmus desperately needed against his former team.

Erasmus celebrated his opener as if he had just won the World Cup, and was shown a yellow for his over enthusiasm that suggested his departure from Chloorkop was not a happy one.

Try as they could to come back, a Sundowns without injured talisman Peter Shalulile could simply not match the Buccanneers.

The second half brought more pain to the Yellow Nation at a full Peter Mokaba Stadium, as it unleashed the Saleng goal fest show. Zakhele Lepasa, who replaced Erasmus, released man of the moment Saleng. The gifted 24-year old midfielder calmly slotted the ball in the bottom corner of the net.

Sundowns introduced Gift Motupa with the hope of injecting some life into their attack. Motupa was unlucky to see one of his first two efforts crash against the crossbar. The second, a header, was mistimed and landed in the safe hands of Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.

Just when it seemed things could not get any worse for Sundowns, they did.

Influential midfielder Aubrey Modiba was sent off for a crude tackle on the in-form Saleng, that earned him a second yellow card in the 90th minute.

Selang dusted himself off the ground to rub salt into injury, with an extra time cracker that left Sundowns dead and buried.

Monnapule Saleng