Pirates Foiled on Home Turf

Orlando Pirates suffered a narrow defeat on their return to DStv Premiership action as they went down 1-0 in their clash against Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

It was the Buccaneers’ first home defeat this season in what was their first league fixture since late August.

In front of a sell-out crowd at the iconic Soweto venue, the highly-anticipated contest began at a subdued pace as both sides looked content knocking the ball about in the middle of the park.

The first real entry into the attacking third came in the direction of the Bucs goal nine-minutes in, when league debutant Siphelo Baloni was deemed to have brought Themba Zwane down inside the box.

The referee pointed to the spot before Lucas Ribeiro stepped up to place the ball beyond Sipho Chaine’s reach, putting the visitors in the lead.

Looking to draw level, Pirates made several surges into Sundowns territory but weren’t afforded any opportunities at goal. 

The visitors had a chance late in the first half as Zwane cut inside from the left before testing Chaine, who dived to his left to make a save.

It was a more determined effort from the hosts in the second half as midfielder Thabang Monare provided their first real effort at goal with a header from just inside the box, which was gathered by Sundowns goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

Pirates continued to probe and came close to drawing level in the 62nd minute when Patrick Maswanganyi’s shot at goal was parried into the direction of Zakhele Lepasa, who could not keep his volleyed effort at goal down.

Substitute Lesedi Kapinga drew a save from Williams directly from a free kick in the 69th minute, moments before Monnapule Saleng’s flicked header from a Deon Hotto cross failed to trouble the shot stopperl.

The game’s dying moments were dominated by the Buccaneers, whose attempts at drawing level were foiled by the visitors.

It was to be that kind of night for the home side, who relinquished all points on offer as they dropped down to 11th place in the league standings.

Pirates XI: Chaine, Xoki, Sibisi, Shandu, Mako, Monare, Baloni (Kamvuidi 78’), Saleng (Makaringe 87’), Mofokeng (Hotto 46’), Maswanganyi (Kapinga 66’), Lepasa (78’).

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