Bucs Kick Season Off with Defeat

Orlando Pirates were stunned in their opening DStv Premiership fixture, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Stellenbosch at Danie Craven Stadium on Saturday.

The 2023/24 season got underway over the weekend, with the Soweto Giants kicking their campaign off with a testing trip to the Cape Winelands.

It was the visitors who started off the more assured of the two sides, surging forward during the opening exchanges as they managed to win the first corner of the game four-minutes in. From the resultant set piece, Stellies keeper Sage Stephens was forced into an early save as he punched away a dangerous ball whipped in by Monnapule Saleng.

Starting his first official appearance in a Bucs shirt, Patrick Maswanganyi got close to opening the scoring in the 20th minute as he found himself one-on-one with Stephens, who managed to pull off another save to keep the game scoreless.

There were further attempts at goal from the visitors, with Saleng’s effort from just inside the penalty area kept out by the crossbar just before Thabiso Monyane’s excellent manoeuvring outside the box only yielded a shot straight at the Stellenbosch shot-stopper.

With less than five minutes left before the break, Deon Hotto’s angled shot from the left was kept out by the Stellies defence, and that sparked a swift move up field, where Antonio van Wyk found himself one-on-one with Sipho Chaine, who was unable to stop the midfielder’s shot at goal, which placed the hosts ahead just before the break.

Left with the task of wiping out their deficit, the Buccaneers sought to up the intensity in the second half, and had an opportunity in the 52nd minute through Zakhele Lepasa, whose header went wide as he connected with a ball from Saleng.

The pair linked up once more a minute later, with the striker closed down before being able to shoot as Saleng delivered another inviting pass.

Makaringe was the next Pirates man to come close to drawing level, but his shot from close range was blocked by defender Ismaël Toure.

The Buccaneers continued to probe as debutant Katlego Otladisa threatened with a curling shot, which went just wide of the upright, while Relebohile Mofokeng and Monyane each delivered dangerous balls into the box without finding a teammate to turn the ball into the net.

It was a disappointing result in the end for the Soweto Giants, whose attempts at finding an equalising goal remained futile in what was a frustrating evening, as the hosts held on to claim all points on offer.

​Pirates XI: Chaine, Xoki, Sibisi, Monyane, Hotto, Monare (Makhaula 7












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