28 January, 2023
Orlando Pirates extended their winning run to three games with a 2-0 win over Marumo Gallants in their DStv Premiership clash at Royal Bafokeng on Saturday.
It was a first victory on the road in the new year for the Buccaneers, who also completed a league double over Bahlabane Ba Ntwa to consolidate their spot in the top four of the standings.
The first quarter of the contest went by without many real attempts at goal despite an assured approach from the visitors, who controlled possession and spent a good chunk of time inside the opposition half.
A half-chance from Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo was the closest either side got to goal during this period, as he sent a snap-shot from just outside the box well wide of the target in the 22nd minute.
Kabelo Dlamini also had an effort at goal from a set piece right front in the 28th minute, but dragged his effort narrowly off target.
Pirates finally found that decisive touch eight minutes later with Terrence Dzvukamanja muscling his way into space on the left before cutting back from the left into the path of Monnapule Saleng, who made no mistake in finding the net from close range to make it 1-0.
With a goal to the good at the break, the visitors could have stretched their lead just seconds after emerging from the tunnel when Hotto linked up with Saleng, who went for goal with an audacious flick but could not connect well enough to trouble Gallants keeper Ismail Watenga.
The hosts’ best chance of the encounter came 53 minutes in, following a seemingly goal-bound shot from Ranga Chivaviro, which was kept out by Sipho Chaine.
Most of the action continued to occur in the other half of the field, where the Soweto Giants were afforded a golden opportunity to pull further ahead from the penalty spot, following a needless shove on Bandile Shandu in the 66th minute.
Ndlondlo was the man to step up against his former side, and he made no mistake from the spot as he grabbed his second goal in as many games to make it 2-0.
In response, Gallants sought to close the deficit between the two sides, but were met with a resolute defensive effort.
Saleng had an opportunity to stretch his side’s lead late in the encounter when he shot towards goal, but was denied by Mpho Mvelase, who put his body on the line to block out the effort.
There was to be no change to the scoreboard as the Buccaneers held on for a clean sheet and another maximum points haul to stay in fourth spot on the table.
Pirates XI: Chaine, Xoki, Sibisi, Mako, Shandu (Martin 71’), Hotto, Monare, Ndlondlo (Motshwari 86’), Saleng (Eva Nga 86’), Dlamini (Mosele 71’), Dzvukamanja (Pule 78’).