Pirates Stumble in the Mother City

Orlando Pirates suffered defeat on the road as they fell on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline away to Cape Town City at DHL Stadium on Saturday night. 

Having resumed action with an away defeat, the Buccaneers were looking to bounce back as they attempted to make their way up from fifth place in the DStv Premiership standings.

Several changes were made to the team that started in the previous outing, with Bandile Shandu coming on for the injured Thabiso Monyane while Thabang Monare and Kabelo Dlamini slotted in the midfield. There was also a Bucs debut for goalkeeper Sipho Chaine, who got a start in place of Siyabonga Mpontshane.

Most of the early chances fell in favour of the Buccaneers, with Deon Hotto’s pace causing problems for the home side’s defence.

The Namibian international got his just reward on the 20-minute mark, when he made his way to the edge of the box before evading City keeper Darren Keet with a powerful left-footed shot to make it 1-0.

It could have been 2-0 six minutes later with the Buccaneers high up the field, where skipper Innocent Maela drove a shot towards goal, demanding a desperate save off the Bafana shot-stopper. 

Monnapule Saleng was next to ask questions of Keet, but the breakthrough came from the other end where Juan Zapata headed in from just inside the box to draw level 32 minutes in.

The hosts were buoyed by the equaliser, and almost took the lead late in the first half as Thabo Nodada snuck behind the defence before being denied by Bucs  debutant Chaine.

Pirates’ defences were breached in the 32nd minute when Juan Zapata was afforded the opportunity to head in from just inside the box, providing the equaliser for the hosts.

City attempted to edge ahead three minutes later, with Thabo Nodada breaking free down the middle before being thwarted by Chaine.

It remained level at the break, and the Buccaneers were first to make an attempt at goal as Kermit Erasmus tried his hand from range, only to drag his shot wide.

The Bucs striker was again in the thick of things as he drew a shot from Keet ten minutes later. 

Their half of the field was kept under pressure, which eventually told when Darwin Gonzales edged City ahead in the 74th minute.

Looking to equalise, Pirates made several changes but were still unable to penetrate the hosts’ defensive wall. 

It proved to be a disappointing outing in the end, as City held on for three points.

Pirates XI: Chaine, Shandu (75′ Martin), Xoki, Sibisi, Maela, Timm, Monare (83′ Ndlondlo), Dlamini (75′ Pule), Saleng, Hotto (77′ Mako), Erasmus (58′ Makgopa). 

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