18 November, 2023
Orlando Pirates Reserves suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of their SuperSport United counterparts in their DStv Diski Challenge fixture held at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday.
The results ended a three-game winning streak for the Buccaneers, who went into the fixture having not lost a game in a little over a month.
After briefly struggling to work up some rhythm amid a positive start from the Tshwane outfit, the visitors were in their stride as the 10th-minute mark approached. They got early shots at goal through striker Mpumelelo Ndaba, whose effort from inside the box was blocked by goalkeeper Samukelo Xulu before Siphamandla Mdunge misdirected his follow-up shot from the rebound.
The wait for the breakthrough was a short one, with Ndaba positioning himself perfectly inside the box in the 16th minute to slot home with his second attempt after his initial shot was parried by the shot-stopper.
The lanky Bucs striker continued to be in the thick of things and could have doubled his tally moments later when he connected with a long ball from deep before trying to lob the ball over Xulu, who had left his line. The scoreboard was however left unaffected, with the 21-year-old only succeeding in poking his shot wide.
Pirates’ lead lasted no longer than seven minutes as the restart after the cooling break brought about a costly lapse in concentration that saw the defence caught on their heels and allowing United to conjure up a chance for an unmarked Sifiso Mazibuko, who duly levelled matters.
In trying to get their noses back in front, the young Buccaneers were kept at bay as the home side prevented clear-cut opportunities for the remainder of the opening period.
The early part of the second half was dominated by physical confrontations, with the referee prompted to show a succession of yellow cards to players from both camps.
The crowd was made to wait for the first bit of goalmouth action after the restart which came 55 minutes in via a free kick taken by Bucs defender Lonwabo Magugwana, whose stinging effort from the edge of the box was parried by Xulu.
The Soweto Giants remained in their Tshwane counterparts' territory where fullback Senzelumusa Sibiya spotted a chance in the 61st minute, latching onto a loose ball on the right and pulling it off target.
The home side had opportunities of their own as the dangerous Shandre Campbell fired over the crossbar in the 70th minute before teammate Kabelo Lekalakala forced an excellent reflex save from Bucs Reserves keeper Zoey Monyepao with a header from close range.
Pirates hit back with a chance of their own almost immediately when replacement forward Ciniso Mazibuko pulled his shot narrowly wide from inside the box.
That happened to be the last of their clean-cut chances as United enjoyed a fruitful period late in the contest, netting twice in injury time.
The first of these goals came through the boot of Thabang Makubo, who turned a cross delivered into the box past Monyepao to put his side in the lead for the first time in the afternoon.
It was followed up by a fortuitous strike from Siviwe Magididi, who capitalised on miscommunication at the back before guiding the ball into the back of the net.
That sealed the result as the young Buccaneers’ winless streak against Matsatsansa stretched to five games.
Pirates Reserves XI: Monyepao, Mbokazi, Magugwana, Mokone, Sibiya, Selepe (Mohlala 59’), Molepo, Chibwe, Nkota (Nxumalo 75’), Mdunge (Magadla 71’), Ndaba (Mazibuko 75’).