Buccaneers Edge Amakhosi in Derby Thriller

Orlando Pirates claimed Soweto Derby spoils after beating Kaizer Chiefs 3-2 in their DStv Premiership encounter played at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

The Buccaneers – billed as the home team on the day – displayed impressive character after trailing at halftime, rallying back to clinch all three points, completing a league double over their biggest rivals in the process.

The sell-out crowd at the famous World Cup venue was treated to a spectacle, with the game’s first shot at goal coming just seconds from the first whistle. This was when the visitors swiftly moved into Bucs territory, where Pule Mmodi fired well wide with the game’s first shot at goal.

The breakthrough came as early as the sixth minute when Ashley Du Preez peeled off from the shoulder of the defence before blasting past Sipho Chaine to hand Amakhosi the lead.

Pirates’ attempts at drawing level yielded a few half chances initially, with Tshegofatso Mabasa and Patrick Maswanganyi both unable to get a shot away after being played in by Relebohile Mofokeng.

It was back level in the 24th minute following a move sparked by Maswanganyi, who turned possession over on the right flank before linking up with Mabasa. The Bucs striker teed up Monnapule Saleng, who needed no second invitation as his powerful left-footed shot from outside the box found the bottom corner.

Deon Hotto had a chance to put Pirates ahead before the half-hour mark when he made a storming run down the left before firing wide.

The hosts continued to enjoy more go-forward ball than their opponents, but were not able to make the most of their territorial dominance throughout the opening half.

They were stunned just two minutes from the break when Du Preez went through on goal before finding the back of the net to restore Chiefs’ lead with his second of the afternoon.

With their work cut out for them in the second half, the Buccaneers continued to peg the opposition back inside their own half, but without sparking any out-and-out chances.

This was until the 57th minute when Thabiso Lebitso sprung up in acres of space to collect a cutback from Hotto before unleashing a stunner of a shot from range to leave the outstretched Bvuma with no chance.

The Namibian international nearly went from creator to goal-scorer after the hour mark as he went for goal directly from a free kick, only to have his shot kept out by the Amakhosi shot-stopper.

The Buccaneers did not wait much longer to take the lead for the first time in the contest, as they benefitted from a quick restart after the ball went out of play inside the opposition half before a clever touch from Maswanganyi laid the ball nicely for Saleng, who chipped Bvuma to complete his brace in the 68th minute.

Chiefs enjoyed a sustained period of possession late in the match as they went in pursuit of an equaliser.

Defender Given Msimango could have been an unlikely hero in the final 10 minutes when he attempted to get on the end of a set piece delivered to the back post, but was a split-second late to the ball.

Edson Castillo did manage to connect with a ball played into the box in the final minute, but Chaine was well-positioned to make a fairly comfortable save.

The Buccaneers almost had the final say in the game inside injury time as Mofokeng rushed towards the penalty area before curling a shot, which was palmed away by the diving Bvuma.

They managed to cling on in the final seconds of the encounter, notching up a remarkable Derby win to climb to second place in the standings.

Pirates XI: Chaine, Xoki, Ndah (Sibisi 76’), Lebitso (Monyane 87’), Hotto, Timm (Mbatha 80’), Makhaula, Saleng (Maela 87’), Maswanganyi, Mofokeng, Mabasa (Marou 80’).

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