Pirates Reserves See Off Richards Bay

Orlando Pirates Reserves claimed their second consecutive win in the DStv Diski Challenge, defeating Richards Bay 4-2 in their game played at Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday.

Just one change was made to the team that beat Chippa United in the previous game with Cemran Dansin coming on in place of Ciniso Mazibuko as the Bucs Reserves looked to launch a strong finish to their campaign.

They enjoyed a positive start against the KwaZulu-Natal outfit, setting up camp inside opposition territory from the first whistle.

It took Pirates just seven minutes to break the deadlock, with the opening goal coming after a move started on the right flank by Jabulani Mokone as he linked up with Dansin. The midfielder delivered a brilliant cutback towards Simphiwe Masilela, who had enough time to compose himself before firing into the back of the net to open his DDC account.

They could have been two goals to the good inside the first 10 minutes as Mehluleli Maphumulo got on the end of an excellent ball from the left, but his shot from close range was blocked by goalkeeper Siphesihle Mtshali. This was followed up by another chance, this time from defender Mbekezile Mbokazi drew a save from the shot stopper with a well-struck effort from range.

Richards Bay’s best chance of the first half came from Wandile Ngema, who worked his way into space down the middle before firing straight at Bucs keeper Khumoetsile Rathokolo.

The Buccaneers were quick to resume their search for their second, which arrived on the half-hour mark through a lovely curling effort from Mokone, who went direct from a free kick taken at a tight angle and found the top corner.

The combination between Dansin and Maphumulo yielded a couple of opportunities late in the opening half, but could not provide the third as the hosts went into the break with a two-goal lead.

They however made it 3-0 right from the second half restart as they worked the ball deep into the visitors’ half where Dansin located Tebogo Masemola, who only needed a single touch to finish from close range.

Richards Bay launched a spirited fightback soon after as they pulled one back against the run of play when Rathokolo’s misplaced pass was gathered by Ngema, who had an empty net to shoot at and make it 3-1.

They set up a tense finish just before the hour mark when Pirates failed to clear their lines from a corner, handing visiting skipper Ashay Sewlall an easy tap-in.

Looking to restore daylight between the two sides, the Buccaneers surged forward through Mokone whose effort from long range went narrowly wide, while Aphelele Nzimande also missed the target when he had a go at goal from a set piece.

Calvin Chibwe did manage to draw a save from Mtshali when he was set up by Kagiso Mguni in the 80th minute, with the fourth goal continuing to elude the hosts.

This lasted until the 86th minute as Maphumulo’s long took finally paid off when he found the target from close range to restore Pirates’ two-goal lead.

Rathokolo had a couple of saves to make late in injury time as the Natal Rich Boyz looked to claw their way back, but all three points eventually went to the Bucs Reserves who claimed another hard-earned victory.

Pirates Reserves XI: Rathokolo, Magugwana, Mbokazi, Mhlambi, Molepo (Mohlala 90+2’), Dansin (Mnguni 62’), Selepe, Masilela (Chibwe 74’), Masemola (Nzimande 62’), Maphumulo.

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