Christmas came early for Hlompo Kekana as Orlando Pirates gifted Mamelodi Sundowns two early goals as the Mighty Buccaneers lost 3-1 to the Brazilians in an Absa Premiership match played at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

Pirates went down as early as the 58th second as Abbubaker Mobara’s clearance struck the outstretched leg of Kekana and deflected into goal.

Despite Sundowns' early goal, the Buccaneers dominated the first 10 minutes as they pushed to get an equaliser.

However against the run of play, Kekana completed his brace in the 13th minute as he caught Sandilands off his line to hand the visitors their 2-0 lead after a spectacular long range effort from his own half.

The 30th minute allowed the visitors to push forward and Kekana nearly bagged his hat-trick after dispossessing Issa Sarr, only to see his shot going wide of the right post.

With seven minutes to the interval, Bangaly Soumahoro fouled Thabo Qalinge on the edge of the box and a fine left-footed set piece through Van Heerden brought the hosts back into the game as he beat Onyango hands down.

It was 2-1 at the end of the opening stanza.

The end-to-end stuff continued in the second half as both sides kept on attacking, but it was coach Milutin Sredojevic's side that threatened the most with their good passing display.

In the the 60th minute, Kekana tried a beautiful set piece on the d-line and managed to produce a fine save from Sandilands, who punched the ball away.

Pirates moved forward with purpose and Sundowns failed to clear the ball in the box which fell for Qalinge, but his shot was cleared off the line by Soumahoro in the 68th minute.

Qalinge showed his class but rushed his decision in the box in the final nine minutes after a clever turn to beat Sundowns’defence, as he failed to put the ball into the net with Onyango off his line.

The last three minutes saw the hosts dominating proceedings as they constantly knocked at Sundowns door, but substitute Laffor grabbed the lead after a great pass from Themba Zwane to unleash a rocket on the roof of the net, 3-1.

In the wake of the loss, the Buccaneers move down to sixth spot on the log table, three points behind the log leaders.

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Mobara, Chabalala, Maela(Nyatama 34'), Van Heerden, Matlaba, Sarr, Qalinge, Lorch(Morrison 73'), Makola, Kutumela (Gabuza 23')




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