Pirates Win Streak Ended by Richards Bay

Orlando Pirates saw their lengthy winning run coming to an end when they lost 1-0 to Richards Bay in their DStv Premiership encounter at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

After winning each of their last five league games, the Buccaneers were unable to collect maximum points in a game for the first time since their stalemate away to Moroka Swallows in early April.

Against a resurgent Richards Bay side, they were not afforded the chance to dictate matters from the get go as their opponents also looked to stamp their mark in the contest.

Chances were few and far between throughout the opening 20 minutes, save for a 19th minute effort from Richards Bay attacker Somila Ntsundwana who was played in behind the defence before placing his shot well off target.

The home side had periods of sustained possession, but rarely posed a threat to the visitors’ goal with the defence proving resilient.

The decisive moment came in the 36th minute as Pirates failed to clear their lines following an attack from the men from KwaZulu-Natal, who took the lead through a first-time shot from Sanele Barns just in front of goal.

In pursuit of the equaliser, the hosts had a chance through Tshegofatso Mabasa who got on the end of a lovely cross from Patrick Maswanganyi but could not keep his header down. The striker had another attempt at goal on the stroke of halftime when he made an excellent turn on the edge of the box, only to be denied by goalkeeper Salim Magoola.

There was more intent in the Buccaneers’ approach in the second half, but the visitors’ defence continued to hold firm.

Miguel Timm went close to drawing level with a well-struck effort from long range in the 52nd minute, but sent the ball drifting wide of the target. This was three minutes before another close call, this time from the boot of Relebohile Mofokeng whose shot from outside the box rattled the crossbar.

Pirates continued to graft with Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo and Siphelo Baloni both failing to find the target with attempts from a fair distance out.

Their best chance of the evening came with just eight minutes left on the clock and fell to Maswanganyi, who got on the end of a beautifully-worked move before he was denied by Magoola from point-blank range.

The shot stopper remained the difference late in the contest as the hosts piled on the pressure and was involved in the game’s last action when he kept out a shot from Mofokeng, who went direct from a last-gasp set piece.

That marked a frustrating night for the Soweto Giants as they fell to their first home defeat since December.

Pirates XI: Chaine, Ndah, Xoki (Sibisi 65’), Monyane (Otladisa 72’), Maela, Timm (Baloni 65’), Ndlondlo (Kapinga 78’), Dlamini (Makgopa 65’), Mofokeng, Maswanganyi, Mabasa .

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