8 April, 2023
Orlando Pirates extended their winning run in the DStv Premiership with a 2-0 win against Chippa United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
Having collected three points on the road in the previous week, the Buccaneers were looking to make it four consecutive league wins as they also sought to reclaim their spot in second place.
They could have had a dream start just three minutes into the game when Chippa goalkeeper Loydt Kazapua fumbled a cross from Paseka Mako into the path of Monnapule Saleng, who was unable to gather the ball as it rolled into safety.
The Namibian shot-stopper remained the busier of the two men between the poles, cutting off a threatening ball from Kabelo Dlamini in the 14th minute, before the Bucs defence were made to sweat four minutes later as Brooklyn Poggenpoel unleashed a shot towards goal which sailed inches wide.
The breakthrough came in the 20th minute as Pirates blitzed up field using the left flank, where Saleng combined with Dlamini who effortlessly turned the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
The Bucs midfielder could have doubled the tally soon after as he volleyed towards goal from just outside the penalty area, only missing the target by mere inches.
Meanwhile the hosts were probing at the other end, with Mako and goalkeeper Sipho Chaine called in to intervene.
With seven minutes remaining before the break, Pirates managed to double their lead and it was through some excellent offensive work from Mako, whose ball down the middle pierced the defence on its way to Thembinkosi Lorch, who had no trouble slotting home past Kazapua.
Pirates began the second half as they started the first, as they continued to control matters out in the middle.
It could have been 3-0 through a freakish moment in the 54th minute when Lorch almost snuck the ball into the near post directly from a corner kick, but Kazapua was able to stave off the potential embarrassment.
Chaine’s relatively quiet evening was offset just seconds later as the dangerous Etiosa Ighodaro was afforded space to head at goal, forcing an excellent save from the Bucs goalminder who dived low to his left to keep the home side scoreless.
The Chilli Boys continued to probe, with Tapelo Xoki and Innocent Maela prompted into some desperate clearances in a bid to preserve the lead.
Just 13 minutes from the final whistle, Lorch had an opportunity to kill off any chance of an unlikely comeback from Chippa when he headed a cross from Deon Hotto towards goal, but Kazapua was perfectly-positioned to prevent the ball from crossing the goal line.
The Buccaneers endured a late surge from the hosts, but were able to hold their shape as they came away with a crucial three points which brought them back up to second place in the standings.
Pirates XI: Chaine, Xoki, Sibisi, Maela, Timm, Monare, Mako (Shandu 89’), Saleng (Hotto 69’), Lorch (89’), Dlamini (Makaringe 69’), Dzvukamanja (Erasmus 75’).
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