Kermit Erasmus scored a hat-trick to see Orlando Pirates through to the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup against CF Mounana at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night as the Soweto giants registered a 3-0 victory on the night and a 5-2 aggregate scoreline. The Buccaneers were denied an opener in the 12th minute when a great run by Thabo Matlaba to set up Erasmus was put to waste by a superb Bitseki save. The two players linked up again in the 14th minute. This time Matlaba overcooked his attempt.
After numerous fruitless chances, the home side finally broke the deadlock in the 24th minute with Erasmus finding the net after Sifiso Myeni had done the hard work. From a Matlaba-Erasmus to Myeni-Erasmus combination, the latter pair combined again to create the second goal in the 28th minute. On this occasion Myeni with a brilliant pass to find Erasmus.
The 24-year old rounded the keeper to slot home from a tight angle. Oupa Manyisa nearly put the home side far ahead in the last minutes of the first half but failed to find the target as it remained 2-0 at the break. Shortly after the restart, Erasmus found his third of the night.
In the 56th minute the former SuperSport United striker put the keeper on the floor before sweeping the ball past him to make it 3-0. Lehlohonolo Majoro almost came in from the bench to score once again against the side in the 70th minute, however his attempt was well read by the keeper. From there on, the two sides offered little goal mouth action.
Three goals from Erasmus would prove to be decisive as the referee blew for full-time. In the end, the Ghost continued on their winning ways and remained the only South African contenders still participating at a continental showpiece.