Pirates book final Spurs date
Orlando Pirates claimed early season bragging rights over great Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs with a 1-0 win in a Vodacom Challenge play-off.
A 59th-mintue Tlou Segolela goal earned the Buccaneers a place in the final against Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur at Ellis Park Saturday, a repeat of the 2007 decider won 3-0 by the English side.
Tottenham lost 1-0 to Chiefs last Saturday in the opening match of the eight-day event and drew 1-1 with Pirates three days later. Spurs are guaranteed a final place as the guest team despite being alone among the three contenders in not having won a match.
The 12-year Challenge is popular with Premier League clubs preparing for a new season and Manchester City and Manchester United were the last two foreign participants in the crowd-pulling tournament.
Midfielder Segolela, considered by many the fastest footballer in the South African Premiership, scored the winner before a capacity 40,000 crowd at Nelson Mandeala Bay Stadium on a cold night in the coastal city. A Reuben Cloete cross was headed across the goal into the path of Segolela, whose close-range shot from a tight angle flew between the legs of South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune into the net.
Segolela was voted man of the match and said the pressure was on the 2011 league and cup winners under new coach Julio Leal from Brazil to maintain the momentum with the new season only a couple of weeks away.
"Winning has become part of our DNA. The match went well and it is always great to defeat our greatest rivals Kaizer Chiefs. I am lucky to play in a team of exceptional talent," he said.
Leal added: "Only in the second half did we get our quick, passing game working properly in midfield. We will train tomorrow morning and assess the fitness of the players before deciding who starts against Tottenham."