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Pirates crash to record defeat against SSU

Posted on Tuesday, November 01, 2016 - 22:01

Orlando Pirates have suffered an embarrassing 6-1 defeat at the hands of SuperSport United at a rainy Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday night.

Despite taking the lead on the stroke of halftime from Tendai Ndoro, the Buccaneers capitulated in the second half.

A 22-minute blitz of five goals in the second half as well as a penalty, handed Matsatsantsa a famous victory – and saw the Buccaneers suffer their first league defeat of the 2016/17 season.

SuperSport started strongly and created the first clear chance of the game seven minutes in when Thuso Phala drove a low shot on goal from a tight angle, but goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo made a sharp save to push the ball away for a corner.

Four minutes later it was Pirates’ turn to threaten an early goal when Mpho Makola was faced with only Ronwen Williams to beat – the midfielder showed great composure to feint a shot before attempting a cheeky chip, but the goalkeeper was wise to his plan.

United coach Stuart Baxter was clearly unhappy with the balance of his team and made an early tactical substitution by replacing Cole Alexander with Thabo Mnyamane just 18 minutes into the match.

Yet the Buccaneers continued to create chances, with Tendai Ndoro seeing an effort cleared off the goalline by Morgan Gould on 42 minutes and less than 60 seconds later the Zimbabwean striker netted his seventh league goal of the season as he turned home a cross from Thabo Rakhale.

SuperSport responded seven minutes into the second half, with Reneilwe Lethsolonyane exchanging passes with Jeremy Brockie before firing a shot from a tight angle which deflected into the net off the arms of Mhlongo to make it 1-1.

And in the next four minutes defender Michael Boxall scored two easy close-range goals to make it 3-1, first redirecting a dragged shot by Letsholonyane in the 54th minute, before tapping home in the 56th after Pirates – and Mhlongo in particular – made a horrible mess of trying to defend a free kick.

Mhlongo’s night went from bad to worse in the 63rd minute when he punched a tame cross straight to Thuso Phala, who controlled the ball and promptly fired a shot into the top corner to extend Matsatsantsa’s lead to 4-1.

Bradley Grobler made it 5-1 in the 74th minute when he got on the end of a lofted cross from Phala and scored with an expertly placed header, while late in the game Brockie scored United’s sixth from a controversial penalty.

There was still time for Pirates to be awarded a penalty of their own in injury time, but when Ndoro was denied by a fine save from Williams it summed up a night the Buccaneers cannot forget quickly enough – but it will live long in the memory for United.

SuperSport United (0) 6 (Letsholonyane 52’, Boxall 54’ 56’, Phala 63’, Grobler 74’, Brockie 88’ pen)

Orlando Pirates (1) 1 (Ndoro 43’)

SuperSport: Williams, Boxall, Gould, Daniels, Bhasera, Letsholonyane (Morton 84’), Furman, Alexander (Mnyamane 18’), Phala, Brockie, Grobler (Nkhatha 78’)

Pirates: Mhlongo, Nyauza, Jele, Gyimah, Matlaba, Norodien (Gabuza 76’), Sarr, Makola, Rakhale, Motupa (Morrison 58’), Ndoro

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