23 April, 2023
Orlando Pirates Reserves suffered a 1-0 defeat in their DStv Diski Challenge clash against Soweto rivals Swallows at Rand Stadium on Sunday.
The young Buccaneers headed into their last Derby for the season looking to bounce back after dropping points on the road,
They had to wait until 11 minutes in to get their first shot at goal, with Mohau Nkota running onto a clever pass from deep before volleying just over the bar.
Pirates were then gifted a chance in the 15th minute after a spill from Swallows keeper Thulani Mngomezulu, who parried the ball into the path of Siyabonga Ndlozi, who was unable to turn it into the net as he hit the side netting instead.
It continued to be one-way traffic as the hosts found chances through Relebohile Ratomo and Mpumelelo Ndaba, but the breakthrough would come at the other end as a rare attack from the Birds yielded the opening goal, netted in by Thabo Tsilo on the half-hour mark.
Having taken the lead, Swallows reverted to a defensive approach, with the Buccaneers unable to make any notable inroad inside the opposition half throughout the remainder of the first half.
Pirates began the second period on the ascendancy as they went in search for the equaliser, but it was the visitors who had the first real opportunity at goal after break as Allesandro du Plessis was called upon in the 54th minute to keep out a powerful shot from point-blank range.
The hosts’ best chance of the game came just after the hour mark when Mehluleli Maphumulo connected with Ratomo, who succeeded in placing his shot beyond the reach of Swallows substitute keeper Ndumiso Zakwe, but could only watch as the ball brushed the outside of the upright on its way out.
The Birds’ shot stopper kept out a stinging low shot from Ndlozi in the 74th before he wandered off his line moments later, prompting Ratomo to chance his arm from the halfway line, only to send his shot narrowly off target.
Further chances fell for Maphumulo and Sonwabo Khumalo, who both kept Zakwe busy before the visitors regained their defensive shape in the dying moments, denying the Buccaneers entry into the attacking third.
Despite a determined effort from the Bucs Reserves, the equaliser proved elusive as all three points went to the Birds.
Pirates Reserves XI: Du Plessis, Ngiba, Kabini, Mokone, Ndlozi, Molepo, Khumalo, Mdunge (Mndebele 61’), Ratomo, Nkota, Ndaba (Maphumulo 45’).
DStv Diski Challenge Preview: Swallows
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