Mpumalanga Black Aces goalkeeper Denis Onyango defied Orlando Pirates for 110 minutes today before Tlou Segolela scored the goal that settled the South African FA Cup semi-final.
The Orlando Stadium result kept alive the Buccaneers hopes of a treble as they won the early-season Top 8 Cup and are one point behind leaders Ajax Cape Town with one round of the championship left. Pirates final opponents on 28 May will be determined tomorrow evening after third division giant-killers Baroka FC play second division Black Leopards in northern city Polokwane.
Ugandan Onyango, who turns 26 tomorrow, was magnificent for relegation-bound Aces as he made one brave save after another to keep Pirates at bay in a game the home team were expected to win comfortably.
However, the keeper was helpless 20 minutes into extra time as South African Footballer of the Year finalist Andile Jali evaded two tackles and when confronted by Onyango, passed the ball across the goalmouth for Segolela to tap it in.
Diminutive wide midfielder Segolela was an ironic match-winner as Dutch coach Ruud Krol wanted to substitute him during the second half of regular time only to change his mind when the crowd reacted angrily.
"We lost concentration and were punished," said Kampala-born Onyango. "We desperately wanted to achieve something positive as a disappointing season draws to a close."