RAMPANT BUCS EDGE BRAZILIANS
By: Neo Goba
Orlando Pirates are finally back to their winning ways after defeating Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 at a slippery Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Tuesday night.
The lone goal in the 37th minute from Khethokwakhe Masuku brought back hope for the chase of the title. Helder Pelembe dribbled past the defenders to get into the box and drilled a superb cross for Masuku who made no mistake to tap it in.
Both sides had a quite opening quarter but the hosts were the first to fire things up as Liberian International Anthony Laffor fired a long range shot that flew over the cross bar.
Rodney Ramagalela soon followed with a better opportunity but he watched on to see his effort being tipped over by Senzo Meyiwa.
The Brazilians came close to scoring again from a free kick. Hlompo Kekana’s well-taken shot was shifted wide by Meyiwa, when Thabo Matlaba committed a hand ball just a few meters outside the box.
The Sea Robbers tried to capitalize from a counter-attack a minute later but the Mozambican International Elias Pelembe made a tackle to dispossess Oupa Manyisa as he was about to shoot.
At the beginning of the 2nd half, the Buccaneers were almost awarded a second goal as former Pirates player, Teko Modise, lost possession to Masuku who scooped his effort wide.
It was an intense match with neither side willing to give up. But, Pirates were dominant in the late stages of the second half, putting pressure on Sundowns and forcing them to stay in their half.
The visitors were troublesome despite coming from 120 minutes of football just 3 days ago.
Pirates are up to sixth place with 27 points, 16 points behind log leaders Kaizer Chifes while Sundowns remain in second place with 34 points.
The Brazilians started to threaten Bucs in the late stages of the match but Rashid Sumaila’s header was cleared of the line by Thandani Ntshumayelo who had a good game.
Pirates had just suffered three defeats and a stalemate in which the coach seemed to run out of options. This win over their rival’s will definitely bring back confidence.