Rampant Pirates Run Riot Against Arrows

Orlando Pirates produced a stunning display of dominance to beat Lamontville Golden Arrows 7-1 in their DStv Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

After a tough two fixtures on the road where they managed a single point, home comforts provided a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the Buccaneers who went into the clash looking to ascend from fourth place in the standings.

It did not take them long to find some rhythm on Saturday when they dominated proceedings from the get-go but survived an early scare 10 minutes in when Kagiso Malinga went one-on-one with Sipho Chaine, who had an easy save to make in the end after a tame shot from the Arrows attacker.

The missed chance haunted the visitors almost immediately as the Soweto Giants found the opener, following an attempt at goal from Makhehlene Makhaula. The midfielder’s stinging shot from just inside the box was parried by goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana who could only guide it as far as the approaching Tshegofatso Mabasa, with the Bucs striker calmly turning the ball into the net.

Relebohile Mofokeng had an opportunity to make it 2-0 seconds after the restart when he peeled off the defence on the left flank, only to be denied by the Arrows shot-stopper.

A near-identical opportunity was set up through an excellent diagonal pass from Patrick Maswanganyi, and the teenager made amends for the earlier miss and displayed excellent skill and composure in taking Mlungwana out of the equation before outfoxing Thabani Zuke to slot home the second goal in the 14th minute.

The home side continued to stamp their authority and could have been three goals to the good inside the opening quarter when Mofokeng’s first-time shot from close range was kept out by the keeper.

The third goal came just after the hour mark through Kabelo Dlamini, who was unmarked as he received a piercing through-ball from Mofokeng before firing past Mlungwana with a well-taken shot.

Pirates had an opportunity to extend their lead further on the stroke of halftime after Maswanganyi was fouled inside the box, prompting the referee to point to the spot. Mabasa stepped up to take the penalty, but could not convert as he drew a save from Mlungwana.

The in-form Bucs striker however did not have to wait long to grab his second, which came just six minutes after the break when he finished from close range, turning a superb cross from Thabiso Lebitso into the net

There was a near miss from Dlamini in the 59th minute when he dragged his shot narrowly off target after being played in by Mofokeng, who had two close calls of his own when he volleyed over the crossbar following a clever chip down the middle from Timm before striking the upright with a low angled shot from just inside the box.

The Buccaneers eventually found their fifth goal of the evening and it came via replacement defender Sandile Mthethwa, who was pinpointed by Dlamini with an accurate ball into the box to head in from close range.

The five-goal lead only lasted two minutes as Arrows hit back in the 77th minute through Lungelo Nguse, who struck past substitute keeper Siyabonga Mpontshane to reduce the deficit to four.

The hosts were however quick to restore their five-goal lead just seconds after conceding, with Mabasa completing his hat-trick after combining with Lebitso once more.

Nguse could have bagged his second late in the encounter following an error from Mpontshane but rushed his shot, sending it well off target from close range.

The rampant Soweto Giants had the final say in proceedings as another substitution in Karim Kimvuidi stamped his mark on the contest by pouncing on a loose ball inside the box before firing past Mlungwana to make it 7-1.

That proved to be the last goal for the evening capping an incredible performance from the Buccaneers who move to third place in the standings.

Pirates XI: Chaine (Mpontshane 54’), Xoki (Mthethwa 46’), Sesane, Lebitso, Hotto (Maela 54’), Timm, Makhaula (Ndlondlo 66’), Dlamini, Mofokeng, Maswanganyi (Kimvuidi 80’), Mabasa.

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