14 January, 2023
Orlando Pirates left it until late to claim a 3-1 win in their DStv Premiership encounter against Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Having not managed to collect a league point since the recess, the Buccaneers were hoping a return to home soil would provide a change in fortunes, while their opponents were looking to build on a hard-fought win claimed in their most recent outing.
The very first movement of the game however almost resulted in a goal for the visitors when a stray pass in the middle of the park led to Knox Mutizwa breaking free before his shot at goal was superbly palmed away by Bucs keeper Sipho Chaine.
It took the home side a while to kick into gear as they enjoyed just half chances in the opening 15 minutes.
The first real opportunity came 21 minutes into the encounter when Kermit Erasmus was released on the left, going one-on-one with Arrows shot-stopper Sifiso Mlungwana, who made a crucial block to keep out the striker’s effort.
The deadlock was broken seven minutes later through excellent work on the right flank by Bandile Shandu, who snuck behind the defence before delivering a brilliant low cross to an onrushing Monnapule Saleng who knocked the ball into the back of the net for his sixth goal in all competitions this season.
An opportunity for Pirates to double their lead came in the 34th minute when Deon Hotto’s corner found Thabang Monare on the far post, but the Bucs midfielder’s header went agonisingly wide.
Chances dried up for the Buccaneers towards the end of the first period, but there was no threat at the other end as they headed into the tunnel with their lead intact.
The second half began much in the same vein as the first - this time with Pirates finding an early opportunity as Hotto played in Saleng, who could not keep his shot down from in front of the posts.
Subsequent chances fell to the Namibian international and halftime substitute Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo, but neither could effect a change to the scoreboard.
The missed opportunities proved costly just after the hour mark, with Velemseni Ndwandwe finding a way past Chaine’s defences for Arrows’ equaliser.
With their tails up, the visitors continued to send wave after wave of attack into the Bucs half, with the centre-back pairing of Nkosinathi Sibisi and Tapelo Xoki made to work overtime.
Pirates regained their feet with the final whistle approaching, as Ndlondlo came close to restoring the lead straight from a corner when his in-swinging ball was punched away by Mlungwana.
They kept pushing and were eventually awarded in injury time when Saleng’s cross found Terrence Dzvukamanja, whose powerful header made it 2-1.
The Buccaneers were not done as just seconds later, Vincent Pule broke down the middle before expertly placing the ball past Mlungwana to put the result beyond doubt.
With no time for the Durbanites to launch a comeback, the Soweto Giants clinched their first points of the new year on their return to home turf.
Pirates XI: Chaine (GK), Xoki, Sibisi, Shandu (Martin 46’), Maela (C), Timm (Ndlondlo 46’), Monare, Dlamini (Pule 64’), Saleng, Hotto (Dzvukamanja 74’), Erasmus (Makgopa 83’).
DStv Premiership Preview: Golden Arrows
© 2017 - 2023 Copyright Orlando Pirates. Designed & Developed by Agent Orange Design