Bucs Claim Point to Secure Champions League Spot

Orlando Pirates finished as runners-up in the 2023/24 DStv Premiership after their 1-1 draw against SuperSport United at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

The point earned from the encounter saw them leapfrog Stellenbosch into second place, securing a spot in next season’s CAF Champions League in the process.

They had to overcome a subdued start against the men from Tshwane, and a couple of misdirected shots from Thalente Mbatha and Tshegofatso Mabasa were all they had to show for their toil in the opening 20 minutes.

They located some rhythm soon after, with the game’s first attempt on target coming from the boot of Deon Hotto as he powered his way into space before drawing a save from the outstretched Ricardo Goss.

The United shot-stopper had to deal with another effort just three minutes later, this time from defender Thabiso Sesane whose shot from long-range made for a comfortable grab.

The visitors had a chance of their own late in the first half when Shandre Campbell combined with Siviwe Magidigidi, but the resultant header went over the crossbar.

The game’s opening goal would come at the other end as Patrick Maswanganyi sparked a move from the middle of the park, locating Monnapule Saleng who made an excellent run on the right before connecting with Mabasa who calmly slotted home to hand the home side the lead.

Pirates’ first opportunity to double their lead in the second half was from a free kick taken right in front of the United goal seven minutes after the restart. Hotto was the man who stepped up to take the set piece, sending down a powerful shot that was deflected out of play by the defensive wall.

The visitors had some bright moments as they pushed to draw level, with their equaliser eventually coming just after the hour mark when Campbell’s cross from the left located Gape Moralo who turned the ball into the net from the back post.

They could have taken the lead just 10 minutes later following an error from the Bucs defence, leading to a chance for Terrence Dzvukamanja who was denied the opportunity to get a shot away by Sipho Chaine as the Bucs keeper darted off his line to make a stop.

The hosts kept seeking a way to pull their noses back in front, and it almost came late in the encounter as Kabelo Dlamini went for a long-range attempt tipped over the crossbar by Goss.

There was more work for Goss as he was called upon once more after a quick counter from Pirates resulted in a chance for Mabasa in the 90th minute. The striker was however unable to convert as he directed his effort straight at the United keeper.

The Buccaneers eventually had to settle for a share of the spoils, which was enough to qualify for the continent’s premier club competition as they finished the season with 50 points from their 30 league games.

Pirates XI: Chaine, Sesane, Ndah, Monyane, Hotto, Mbatha, Makhaula (Baloni 75’), Saleng (Maela 82’), Mofokeng, Maswanganyi (Dlamini 75’), Mabasa.

Share the Post: