Pirates vs Platinum Stars MTN8 Final

MTN8 | Saturday 28 September | Moses Mabhida Stadium | 20:15

The first piece of major silverware is up for grabs this weekend as Orlando Pirates and Platinum Stars clash in the MTN8 final at the majestic Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Dikwena's disciplined game plan against Bidvest Wits at Milpark Stadium on Tuesday night booked them a place in Saturday's final. They beat Wits 2-1 in the second leg, for a 6-3 aggregate victory.

Pirates were the first to advance to the final after beating arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 on aggregate in Soweto earlier in the day. The two Soweto giants played to a 1-1 draw, but the Buccaneers went through after winning the first leg 1-0 last month.

To Win (90mins)
Orlando Pirates 7/10
Draw 5/2
Platinum Stars 7/2

Orlando Pirates
It was Lennox Bacela's equaliser that steered Pirates, the CAF Champions League semi-finalists, to the final.

Pirates reshuffled their defence by resting captain Lucky Lekgwathi.

Thabo Matlaba was relegated to the bench and Siyabonga Sangweni was handed the captain's armband.

Patrick Phungwayo got a rare start operating in his specialist position at left back.

Bucs dominated the midfield early on with Oupa Manyisa and Lehlogonolo Masalesa combining well in their build-ups, but could not break the Chiefs wall.

Amakhosi broke the deadlock through Bernard Parker in the 36th minute.

Pirates came out fighting in the second half and immediately went in search of the equaliser.

They equalised in the 75th minute from the penalty spot after Morgan Gould was penalised for pulling Rooi Mahamutsa's shirt.

Bacela sent Khune the wrong way to earn his third goal of the competition after slotting two against SuperSport in the quarter-finals.

The Buccaneers also drew their quarter-final meeting against SuperSport, but progressed through penalties.

Platinum Stars
Wits tried to play at a high tempo to score the two goals they needed at home against Platinum Stars.

However, a defensive lapse allowed Robert N'gambi to put Stars 1-0 up in the 60th minute.

Wits pulled one back in the 72nd minute, but N'gambi's second six minutes later sent Gavin Hunt's Students back to school.

On a compact pitch that has served the Students so well as a fortress home ground, Wits struggled to find the width to pull the Stars defence open, so had to rely on a frenetic tempo to find spaces.

Both Platinum’s goals came from captain Vuyo Mere’s crosses on the right flank, which resulted in a famous 2-1 win for Stars and 6-3 aggregate win over the two legs.

VERDICT: Draw after 90mins, 5/2 
Since Platinum’s promotion to the PSL in 2004, they have met the Soweto giants 19 times and have only managed one win, with Pirates claiming 13.

However, the Platinum Stars of late are a formidable force and Pirates only narrowly beat them 1-0 in both league matches last season.

Pirates have failed to score in open play in their last two matches while Stars scored three against Free State Stars in the quarter-finals in this competition and six over two legs in the semi’s.

Pirates should dominate possession but Stars will be pumped up for the big occasion and should do enough to get a draw in 90 minutes.

Pirates should have enough to go on and claim the trophy in penalties or extra-time.

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