Dominant Bucs Reserves Batter Gallants

Orlando Pirates Reserves turned in a dominant performance on Saturday as they netted twice in each half to thump Marumo Gallants 4-1 in their DStv Diski Challenge fixture at Wits University Stadium.

Starting the weekend in fifth place, the Bucs Reserves were looking to make it two wins in as many weeks against a Gallants outfit seeking a way out of the bottom half of the table.

Just as they had done on more than one occasion this season, the hosts did not wait long before making a breakthrough, and it came through a fabulous team goal in the fourth minute.

The move began inside Bucs territory, where midfielder Sonwabo Khumalo threaded an accurate long pass straight to Relebohile Ratomo, who beat one defender before squaring the ball to Gomolemo Khoto to tap in from close range.

In response, Gallants went on the offensive and could have drawn level through Sibusiso Nkosi, whose shot was kept out by a brilliant save from Pirates keeper Allesandro Du Plessis. They would go even closer in the 11th minute when the shot-stopper was taken out of the equation, only for skipper Ndumiso Ngiba to make a timely goal-line clearance and keep his side in the lead.

That would turn out to be the visitors’ best period in the first half, with the Buccaneers grabbing firm control of proceedings for the remainder of the opening 45 minutes.

Pirates forward Mohau Nkota had a couple of opportunities from range midway through the first period, but wasn’t able to connect well enough with the ball to find the target.

The Buccaneers would pull further ahead in the 31st minute when Jabulani Mokone got behind the defence on the right flank before hooking the ball inside for Njabulo Mndebele, who unleashed a powerful shot to send the net bulging.

There were further chances for the hosts late in the first half, both falling to Nkota who was first denied by the keeper before pushing his shot wide on the stroke of halftime.

The second period began with the Buccaneers attacking through Ratomo’s channel on the right hand side of the field and the player continued to be a menace to the defence.

The teenager could have made it 3-0 in the 50th minute when he received the ball from just inside the opposition half and forced a save off the keeper with an audacious chip that looked goalbound.

It took another magic moment for Pirates to find their third goal of the afternoon, with Mokone, Khumalo and Mndebele all involved as the ball moved swiftly from the hosts’ half before finding its way to Ratomo, who cut inside from the right and shot low with his left to finish on the near post.

Despite enjoying a comfortable lead, Joseph Makhanya’s troops did not let up in intensity, and the pressure told on Gallants eight minutes from the final whistle when a lapse in concentration allowed Khumalo to steal possession before playing in late sub Mehluleli Maphumulo, who only had to shoot into an empty net to make it 4-0.

The visitors would be afforded an opportunity to get a late consolation goal in the dying moments when they were awarded a penalty, which was converted by Nkosi, who netted his first goal against the Buccaneers in their third attempt at this level.

That proved to be the final touch of the game, with Pirates Reserves registering their biggest winning margin so far this season.

Pirates Reserves XI: Du Plessis, Mokone, Ngiba, Mohlala, Kabini, Molepo, Mndebele (Moremi 74’), Khumalo, Khoto (Mdunge 62’), Nkota (Maphumulo 74’), Ratomo (Mabuza 74’)

















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