4 March, 2023
Orlando Pirates Reserves suffered a rare home defeat at the hands of SuperSport United, who were 2-0 victors in their DStv Diski Challenge fixture held at Rand Stadium on Saturday.
This was only the second loss in 2023 for Joseph Makhanya’s troops, as they were denied the opportunity to stretch their winning streak beyond five matches.
In a hot streak of their own, the visitors were able to stamp their authority in the contest early on when they placed the Bucs Reserves under pressure from the first whistle.
Pirates managed to get their first real shot on target 20 minutes in when midfielder Sonwabo Khumalo drew a save from United goalkeeper Samukelo Xulu with an attempt from range.
The breakthrough came at the other end two minutes later as Tenda Matodzi headed in to make it 1-0 to the visitors after being played in by Shandre Campbell.
Njabulo Mndebele responded with an attempt from a fair distance out, but was denied by Xulu. This was moments before a brilliant solo run from Gomolemo Khoto yielded another close call as he pushed his shot wide of the target.
The hosts finished the first half under pressure from the visitors, who were determined to go into the break with a two-goal cushion.
Pirates started the second period looking the brighter of the two sides as they spent a considerable period inside the United half.
Forward Relebohile Ratomo was the next player to test Xulu, who made another fine save in the 63rd minute to preserve his side’s lead.
The Bucs Reserves’ efforts to draw level were made all the more complicated in the 79th minute when they were reduced to ten men, with Siyabonga Ndlozi given his marching orders.
The visitors capitalised on their numerical advantage almost immediately with Thabang Mahlangu tapping in from close range to make 2-0.
With time running out, the host set out to pull one back, but were met with a resilient defensive effort as United piled men at the back.
It was not to be for the young Buccaneers, who dropped down from the top of the standings, with Matsatsantsa taking up the summit.
Pirates Reserves XI: Dladla, Kabini, Ngiba, Ndlozi, Mokone, Khumalo, Molepo, Mndebele, Khoto (Mdunge 74’), Ndaba (Maphumulo 66’), Ratomo.