16 September, 2023
Orlando Pirates Reserves claimed their first victory of the 2023/24 DStv Diski Challenge season when they defeated Richards Bay 2-0 in their fixture played at Sugar Ray Xulu on Saturday.
With a single point collected in the opening week of the new campaign, Joseph Makhanya’s troops were gunning for a maximum haul in their second away fixture in as many weeks as they returned to KwaZulu-Natal.
They hit their stride early in the encounter with the speedy Siphamandla Mdunge causing problems for the home side’s defence during the opening exchanges.
The Bucs midfielder’s afternoon was however cut short as he hobbled off in the 20th minute, replaced by Ciniso Mazibuko.
The forced change did not slow the visitors down, with the replacement making an immediate impact as he provided the opening goal with a well-taken finish just seconds after being brought on.
Despite being in the lead, Pirates continued to pin the hosts back inside their own half, resulting in an opportunity for Mohau Nkota who was denied as he charged into the box.
Further chances fell to the Bucs Reserves late in the first half, with Mazibuko and Tebogo Masemola each firing wide before Jabulani Mokone’s effort from a set piece was deflected out of play.
From the resultant corner, they were able to double their lead courtesy of Mehluleli Maphumulo, who turned the ball into the net for his second of the season.
The hosts were dealt a further blow one minute from the break, with Nkosikhona Ndaba given his marching orders for dissent.
Pirates emerged from the tunnel looking to further press their advantage and remained in the ascendancy for much of the second half.
Nkota had two quick chances around the hour mark, firing wide before managing to draw a save off keeper Philasande Manqele with a firmly struck shot.
Replacement striker Mpumelelo Ndaba got in on the action shortly after being introduced in the 67th minute, failing to find the target on a couple of occasions before rattling the woodwork in the 73rd minute.
It remained one-way traffic, with the home side content with sitting back and absorbing the pressure from the Buccaneers, who were denied entry into the attacking third.
Pirates did find an opening with nine minutes left on the clock when Nkota combined with Ndaba, but the lanky striker’s shot was directed away from the target by the home side’s defence.
That proved to be the last real chance at either end as the final whistle eventually sounded, confirming a comfortable win for the young Buccaneers.
Pirates Reserves XI: Monyepao, Mbokazi, Selepe, Mokone (Nxumalo 67’), Masemola (Magadla 55’), Sibiya, Molepo, Magugwana, Mdunge (Mazibuko 20’), Nkota, Maphumulo (Ndaba 67’).