Bucs Snatch Vital Win in Polokwane

Orlando Pirates ground out a vital win on the road as they beat Polokwane City 1-0 in their DStv Premiership fixture played at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.

The result helped the Buccaneers snap out of a three-match winless run in the league, as they claimed a crucial three points that propelled them to fourth place in the standings.

It only took them two minutes to create the game’s first chance, with Relebohile Mofokeng knocking the ball straight to Manuel Sapunga after connecting with an excellent ball delivered from the right flank by Thabiso Monyane.

That proved to be the only bit of excitement for a big chunk of the game’s opening quarter, as opportunities evaded both sides for much of the early part of the contest.

The hosts were able to send a shot towards goal in the 23rd minute when Oswin Appollis drifted in from the left before firing well over the crossbar. The Rise and Shine attacker went even closer from a set piece after the half-hour mark, as his curling ball from the edge of the box landed on the roof of the net.

Pirates’ best chance of the first half came through Karim Kimvuidi, who made an excellent turn on the edge of the box after connecting with Patrick Maswanganyi only to be denied by the woodwork.

The second period served up more opportunities early on, with striker Evidence Makgopa the first to conjure up a clear chance when he peeled away from his marker to fire just wide of the target.

Bucs goalkeeper Sipho Chaine was also kept busy at the other end, denying Thabang Matuludu and Simon Ramabu, who both chanced their luck from a distance.

The visitors broke the deadlock in the 68th minute when Makgopa displayed his aerial prowess in connecting with a lovely ball from Hotto to head in from just inside the penalty area.

The Bucs forward was not too far from his second just moments later, with his flicked header deflected out for a corner.

Pirates remained on the hunt for a second goal and had a few opportunities to double their lead late in the contest, following the introduction of fresh legs.

Replacement midfielder Kabelo Dlamini fired well off target in the 88th minute after linking up with Maswanganyi, while fellow substitute Innocent Maela could only manage a tame shot at goal after popping up in an advanced position on the left flank.

The woodwork was again the Buccaneers’ worst enemy, with Dlamini striking the upright late in injury time after guiding his shot past an outstretched Sapunga.

The final whistle sounded soon after, as the Soweto Giants made a winning return to league football.

Pirates XI: Chaine, Xoki, Ndah, Monyane (Lebitso 67’), Hotto, Makhaula (Monare 83’), Mbatha, Kimvuidi (Mabasa 67’), Maswanganyi, Mofokeng (Maela 77’), Makgopa (Dlamini 77’).

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