Ten-Man Bucs Reserves Dominate Arrows

Orlando Pirates Reserves registered an emphatic 3-0 victory over Lamontville Golden Arrows despite navigating the majority of their DStv Diski Challenge encounter a man short.

Looking to consolidate their spot at the top of the standings, the Bucs Reserves came up against a side in resurgent form at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, with the young Abafana Bes’thende unbeaten in their last three outings.

Relebohile Mofokeng and Azola Matrose featured in Joseph Makhanya’s squad for the first time this season after spending the bulk of the campaign with the first team.

The duo’s experience was evident as early as the fifth minute when Mofokeng swathed through the middle before releasing Matrose, whose shot from the left rattled the crossbar.

Arrows’ casual approach at the back proved costly in the seventh minute when Bucs midfielder Simphiwe Selepe turned possession over inside the penalty area before finishing calmly to make it 1-0.

The Buccaneers were able to withstand a spirited fightback from the hosts before launching forward once more and were afforded an opportunity to double their lead 17 minutes in when Mpumelelo Ndaba was brought down just outside the box.

Lonwabo Magugwana’s effort from the free kick was deflected out for a corner, and the defender was immediately on hand as he headed in on the back post from the latter set piece to make it 2-0.

With a comfortable lead in their favour, Pirates were dealt a blow via the loss of talismanic right-back Jabulani Mokone who had to withdraw midway through the first half, replaced by the equally capable Senzelumusa Sibiya. They were dealt a bigger setback just after the half-hour mark when Selepe was given his marching orders after dishing out a tackle considered to warrant a straight red by the referee.

They, however, did not appear hamstrung by their numerical disadvantage, as another clanger from the defence allowed an opportunity for Mofokeng, which he did not decline as he finished from a tight angle near the touchline to put the Soweto Giants three goals to the good.

The second half featured a terrific effort from the Bucs Reserves, who were determined to make the opposition’s superiority in numbers not count against them while making numerous forays upfield.

One of these excursions almost yielded a fourth goal for Makhanya’s troops with Matrose swathing a pass through to Mohau Nkota, whose shot rolled across the face of goal on its way out for a goal kick.

Mofokeng could have completed his brace on the 75-minute mark when he worked his way into space before finding the side netting. His chance preceded the hosts’ best opportunity to put something on the board as Sanele Gumede found the upright with his shot after linking up with Siyanda Mthati.

There was not nearly enough time for Arrows to stage a comeback, with Pirates putting on a valiant effort to add three more points to their tally.

Pirates Reserves XI: Monyepao, Magugwana, Mbokazi, Mokone (Sibiya 26’), Mohlala, Molepo, Selepe, Matrose (Ngobeni 67’), Nkota (Nxumalo 74’), Mofokeng, Ndaba (Dansin 46’).

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