7 January, 2023
Orlando Pirates Reserves came back from a goal down to register a 3-1 win over Chippa United as the DStv Diski Challenge resumed on Saturday.
Kicking off the new year with a fixture at Solomon Mahlangu in KwaMhlanga, the Bucs Reserves looked to pick up where they left off in the previous year, having collected four straight wins prior to the extended festive season break.
The men from the Eastern Cape survived an early onslaught from the Soweto Giants before making their first real opportunity count, advancing up field through an excellent counter attack. The move was finished off expertly by Asanele Bonani, who found the bottom corner after placing the ball beyond an outstretched Allesandro Du Plessis to make it 1-0 in the seventh minute.
Mohau Nkota and Captain, Cassius Spandiel were heavily involved as the Bucs Reserves launched a comeback, both getting shots at goal without finding the target.
The equaliser came in the 15th minute through some excellent work from Gomolemo Khoto, who dashed down the left flank before connecting with Relebohile Ratomo who hit the target with an excellent shot from just inside the penalty area.
It only took another eight minutes for the Buccaneers to take the lead, with Nkota receiving the ball just outside the box before creating space to shoot, resulting in a superb long-range strike.
Chippa looked to initiate a comeback of their own, but were thwarted by some good defensive work from the home side, led by the skipper.
Pirates could have extended the lead moments before the break, with an unmarked Njabulo Mndebele receiving a fine cross from Sonwabo Khumalo, only to send his shot crashing into the side netting.
The second half began with Chippa surging forward as Du Plessis was required to make a desperate save from a long-range effort, palming the ball over the crossbar to keep his side in the lead.
It was however Pirates who dominate proceedings, with Ratomo and Khoto creating problems for the defence on the left hand side of the field.
It could have been 3-1 on the hour mark, when second-half substitute Mehluleli Maphumulo shot at goal from close range and was denied by Chippa keeper Cuwen Prince.
The Bucs Reserve did not have to wait long after that to extend their lead, with Spandiel heading in from a set piece in the 72nd minute to create some daylight between the two sides.
Lucky Bule and Ratomo had opportunities to create a three-goal lead late in the game, but neither could find the target.
It remained 3-1 as the final whistle sounded, with the young Buccaneers moving to the top of the standings with more games set to be played throughout the weekend.
Pirates XI: Du Plessis, Mokone, Spandiel, Ndlozi, Kabini, Molepo, Mndebele (Moremi 57’), Khumalo (Bule 70’), Khoto (Mdunge 61’), Nkota (Maphumulo 61’), Ratomo.
DStv Diski Challenge Preview: Chippa United
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