Late Goal Seals Victory for Bucs Reserves

A last-gasp goal handed the Orlando Pirates Reserves a hard-fought 1-0 win over Royal AM in their DStv Diski Challenge encounter held at Rand Stadium on Saturday morning.

The result sees the Buccaneers climb up to the top of the table, unseating their Mamelodi Sundowns counterparts who only take to the field on Sunday.

It was the visitors who were quicker to find their feet early on, manufacturing a few opportunities that they squandered before Bucs keeper Zoey Monyepao was called upon nine minutes in to keep out a well-struck shot from deep. 

The Buccaneers did string together a few chances as they grew into the game after the 10-minute mark, with Mehluleli Maphumulo heavily involved. The burly striker shot wide from long range in his first attempt and was able to draw a save from the keeper after an excellent turn inside the box just moments later. 

They continued their ascendancy throughout the half, using the flanks effectively, but could not find the decisive touch inside the box.

A chance presented itself on the stroke of halftime with Calvin Chibwe leaping high to head in from a corner before his effort was deflected into safety.

Monyepao was again the first of the two keepers called upon after the restart, cleverly stepping off his line to cut off a threatening cross from the right flank.

Pirates went narrowly wide on two occasions before the hour mark, as Nkota and Lonwabo Magugwana each failed to find the target with shots from outside the box.

The hosts continued to dominate throughout the second half, but the opening goal remained elusive with Magugwana and replacement midfielder Ciniso Mazibuko both having their shots from close range blocked.

The reward for their efforts came with one minute of regulation time remaining, courtesy of a clever backheel from Nkota which created space for Senzelumusa Sibiya to slot home from just inside the penalty area, making it 1-0.

The Buccaneers had a chance to double their lead deep in injury time when Sibusiso Magadla cut in from the right before placing his shot wide.

The missed opportunity however did not prove costly, as there was no time for the team from KwaZulu-Natal to launch a comeback with the hosts securing all three points on offer in bagging their second consecutive victory. 

Pirates Reserves XI: Monyepao, Magugwana, Mbokazi, Mdunge, Sibiya, Selepe, Masemola, Chibwe (Mazibuko 68’), Nkota (Maitsile 90+4’), Magadla, Maphumulo (Arends 90+4’) 

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