Bucs Reserves Fall Short Against Stellies

Orlando Pirates Reserves suffered 1-0 defeat to Stellenbosch in their DStv Diski Challenge fixture played at Solomon Mahlangu Stadium.

Heading to KwaMhlanga looking to claim a second successive win, the Bucs Reserves began the weekend in third place and faced a stiff challenge in the form of the second-placed Cape Winelands outfit who were in search of their third victory on the bounce.

The Soweto Giants were starved of chances at goal for the majority of the opening half, with goalkeeper Zoey Monyepao remaining the busier of the two men between the posts throughout.

The Bucs shot stopper was first called upon just moments after the first whistle when he had to crouch low to keep out a shot from Langelihle Phili.

He however had no answer for the Stellies attacker’s 20th minute effort which snuck in on the near post to hand Stellies the lead.

Pirates looked to reply through Ciniso Mazibuko who pulled his shot wide from a fair distance out as they struggled to penetrate into the attacking third for much of the first period.

A long-range effort at the other end forced Monyepao into another save seven minutes before the break as the visitors continued to dominate proceedings.

There was a more assured approach from the young Buccaneers in the second half in their pursuit for the equaliser. They were afforded their first real opportunity nine minutes from the restart when Jabulani Mokone darted into the penalty area before being brought down, prompting the referee to point to the spot.

Defender Lebo Mohlala stepped up to take the penalty, but could not convert as he scooped his effort over the crossbar.

Mokone created another chance on the hour mark through a beautifully worked move from a set piece when he delivered a pinpoint ball Mbekezile Mbokazi, who did well to peel away from the defence but could not direct his header on target.

Movement from the Bucs bench brought on fresh legs, with the likes of Aphelele Nzimande and Tshepo Mhlambi both heavily involved in the latter part of contest.

Mhlambi twice went on a few energetic runs on the left but could not find a way through the defence with his crosses into the box, while Nzimande managed to create a chance from the right where he sent a cutback towards Simphiwe Selepe who misfired from close range with just four minutes left on the clock.

Pirates remained on a desperate search for a goal that would salvage a point, but the visitors’ defence continued to hold firm throughout the game’s dying moments as they walked off with the spoils.

Pirates Reserves XI: Monyepao, Magugwana, Mbokazi, Mokone, Mohlala (Mhlambi 78’), Molepo, Dansin (Nzimande 69’), Selepe, Mazibuko (Arends 78’), Masilela (Masemola 74’), Ngobeni. 

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