22 April, 2023
Orlando Pirates came from a goal down to clinch a 2-1 win in their DStv Premiership fixture against Cape Town City at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
The win made it five straight league victories for the Buccaneers, who went into the fixture looking to reclaim second spot after being leapfrogged by SuperSport United in midweek.
After a disjointed start at both ends, the home side were the first to find their feet just before the 10-minute mark, as they enjoyed an elongated period camped inside the Citizen’s half.
That early dominance yielded just two shots on target, coming from Monnapule Saleng and Kabelo Dlamini respectively, with neither player managing to trouble City goalkeeper Darren Keet.
The breakthrough came against the run of play in the 18th minute as the visitors managed to turn over possession in the middle of the park when the Bucs attempted to launch an attack, and that quickly gave Khanyisa Mayo a clear path towards goal before he shot past Sipho Chaine to hand his side the lead.
Pirates came close to drawing level nine minutes later, with Thabang Monare denied by the upright after his shot from the edge of the box took a deflection on its way to touch.
The resultant corner brought about the equaliser, with captain Innocent Maela’s headed flick on the far post found the head of Terrence Dzvukamanja down the middle, and the striker did not err in turning the ball into the back of the net.
Defender Sandile Mthethwa almost put the Soweto Giants in the lead seven minutes later when he headed towards goal from a corner, only succeeding in finding the back of the net.
The Buccaneers remained in control heading into the break, but without creating many clear-cut opportunities.
Chances continued to be few and far between in the closing stages of the second half, with much of the action concentrated in the middle of the park.
The hosts were able to make a clean break in the 61st minute after Deon Hotto turned possession over inside his own half, working in tandem with Miguel Timm who released Fortune Makaringe on the left flank, with the replacement midfielder making a fantastic run before being let down by his final touch.
They continued to probe, as Thabang Monare got close eight minutes later with a curling shot from inside the box, which sailed wide of the upright.
This was quickly followed up by a stinging shot by Kermit Erasmus from close range, who brought out a fantastic save from Keet.
It looked as if the game was headed for a stalemate, but a pin-point long ball from Nkosinathi Sibisi located Saleng on the left flank, with the midfielder beating one man before calmly placing the ball beyond the reach of a diving Keet to make it 2-1 with just 14 minutes remaining.
Pirates did not ease the intensity despite being in the lead, with Timm forcing the City shot-stopper into another save.
This was before a late surge from the visitors, who camped in the Bucs half, but without posing much of a threat.
The final whistle sounded eventually, and the Buccaneers marched on to yet another important victory.
Pirates XI: Chaine, Sibisi, Mthethwa, Maela (Monyane 59’), Timm (Makhaula 87’), Monare, Mako, Hotto, Saleng (Marou 87’), Dlamini (Makaringe 59’), Dzvukamanja (Erasmus 68’).
DStv Premiership Preview: Cape Town City
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