Buccaneers Show Grit in Crucial League Win

Orlando Pirates claimed another vital three points on the road as they defeated Richards Bay 2-0 in their DStv Premiership encounter at King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.

Having gone into the international break on the back of three consecutive victories across competitions, the Buccaneers sought to pick up where they left off as the league resumed, and were against a side in search of their first win since January.

Intent from the visitors was evident early on, and they could have gotten in the scoresheet five minutes in when Terrence Dzukamanja forced a save from goalkeeper Marlon Jacobs, who parried the ball into the path of the onrushing Tapelo Xoki, with the defender unable to keep his shot down.

Bucs keeper Sipho Chaine also had some work to do at the other end, where Somila Ntsundwana tried his luck from a fair distance out in the 11th minute, only succeeding in finding the shot stopper’s gloves.

The Buccaneers continued to attack with Thembinkosi Lorch finding holes in the defence with some clever passes, but his intended recipients, Dzvukamanja and Saleng were each hauled back by the offside flag.

Saleng did manage to let a shot off , and it was from a dead ball situation when he went for goal from a tight angle only to be denied by Jacobs, who also had his near post to thank as the ball crashed off his gloves into the upright to keep the game scoreless with 28 minutes played.

The breakthrough came four minutes later through a fine cross from Kabelo Dlamini, who located Dzvukamanja, who headed in on the far post to make it 1-0.

There was a half-chance for the Buccaneers as the clock wound down in the first half, with Lorch failing to connect with Saleng, who had managed to get behind the defence before Jacobs swept in to collect the pass.

Pirates remained in the ascendancy early in the first half as Dlamini and Saleng both had opportunities to stretch the lead heading into the half-hour mark.

The hosts had a chance of their own in the 64th minute through Yanela Mbuthuma, who was denied by Nkosinathi Sibisi as he darted across the field to make a clearance.

A better opportunity fell to Lorch, who made a couple of touches inside the box before firing wide from point-blank range.

Mbuthuma continued to trouble the Bucs defence and could have capitalised off a slip from Chaine in the 77th minute, but sent his effort just wide of the target with the shot stopper out of the equation.

It looked as if the Buccaneers would settle for a 1-0 victory, but their lead was doubled in injury time when the hosts failed to clear a cross from Paseka Mako, with Saleng pouncing on the loose ball to claim his ninth league goal of the season.

That put the result beyond doubt as the Soweto Giants held on to claim a third successive league victory, which sent them up to second in the standings.

Pirates XI: Chaine, Sibisi, Xoki (Mthethwa 89’), Maela (Shandu 66’), Timm, Monare, Mako, Saleng, Lorch (Makaringe 78’), Dlamini (Hotto 66’), Dzvukamanja (Makgopa 78’).
















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