Stellenbosch FC scored three second-half goals to cruise to a 3-0 victory over Richards Bay at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on Saturday to book their place in the final of the Carling Knockout Cup.
The Natal Rich Boyz simply could not live with Stellies, who produced a scintillating second half to qualify for their first-ever cup final.
Following a sluggish first half, the visitors shot out the second half and were rewarded when winger Devin Titus broke the deadlock in the 51st minute, capitalising off poor goalkeeping.
Leading man Iqraam Rayners evaded his man and ran behind the defence before his attempted lob over the keeper was parried by Philasande Manqele onto Titus who was on hand to poke home in the farpost.
Things got better for Stellies in the 70th minute as they doubled their advantage through a badly defended corner kick.
Ivory Coast-born attacker Anicet Oura was the lucky man on the back post as tapped home from close range after a Thabo Moloisane flick in between bodies.
Second-half substitute Antonio Van Wyk put the gloss on the result with a third goal late on.
Richards Bay head coach Kaitano Tembo rewarded the 22-year-old goalkeeper Manqele with yet another start following his penalty heroics in the last round.
With an attempt to spark his attack from the onset, he went with raw pace upfront as wingers Moses Mthembu, Justice Figuerdo and Thulani Gumede rotated the front three positions.
For Steve Barker in the opposite dugout, it was a case of continuity as he deployed the same starting 11 that did the job against Polokwane City in the last round.
A very confident Richards Bay went into this encounter with an edge in terms of historical head-to-head battles and it showed as they created the first golden chance of the match inside seven minutes.
Tanzanian-born left-back Abdi Hassan flashed a daring cross for Figuaredo to run onto but the Swaziland-born attacker put too much power on his attempted tip and caressed it over the bar.
However, Stellies grew more into the match as time went on and manufactured a good opportunity of their own but midfielder Genino Palace’s attempted low shot was blocked by a wall of defenders inside the box in the 17th minute.
The importance of the match began to be evident as both teams resorted to a more subtle approach with a limited percentage of mistakes for the remainder of the half as goal-scoring chances were slim.
The visitors were also dealt a serious blow five minutes before the break as Ivory Coast-born Ismaël Touré was forced off the pitch with injury and replaced by Athenkosi Mcaba.
Richards Bay got desperate in the second half and Tembo threw on the likes of Yanela Mbutuma, and Somila Ntsundwana but it was all in vain Stellies proved too strong and ended up strolling to a victory.
Stellenbosch will wait to see their final opponents with TS Galaxy and AmaZulu to clash on Sunday in the second semi-final.