Orlando Pirates advanced to the MTN8 final after defeating Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 in the second leg of their semi-final on Saturday in Polokwane.

In the eighth minute, Saleng found space on the right wing and outwitted Aubrey Modiba before crossing for Erasmus to score.

It was a near-perfect start for the Soweto giants, who now need two goals to win the tie and advance to the final.

Masandawana began to assert their dominance in terms of ball possession, but they were unable to break down a stodgy Pirates defence to create any clear-cut openings.

Teboho Mokoena’s long-range effort was the only one that posed a significant challenge to goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane in the first half.

Sundowns appeared to attack with more vigour after the halftime break and came close to equalising when substitute Neo Maema shot just wide on the hour mark.

As the minutes ticked away, the defending champions appeared to become desperate and, at times, went out of character, flinging hopeless crosses into the box, which Mpontshane easily dealt with.

With Sundowns throwing more players forward to get back into the game, Pirates looked dangerous on the counter-attacks and scored the game-winning goal with eight minutes remaining.

Zakhele Lepasa, a substitute, went down the left wing before sending a loss cross into Saleng, who beat keeper Ronwin Williams.

Sundowns’ disappointing day was summed up in injury time when Modiba was sent off for kicking out at Saleng.

The winger then picked himself up and scored again to complete his hat trick and put the icing on the Pirates’ cake.

Pirates will face either Kaizer Chiefs or AmaZulu in their MTN8 semi-final (aggregate 1-1) on Sunday (15:30).

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