Benni brace seals title
Benni McCarthy (Gallo Images)
Durban - Orlando Pirates defeated Golden Arrows 4-2 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday afternoon to claim their second successive Absa Premiership title.
Benni McCarthy’s second half brace proved decisive for the Buccaneers who were being held 2-2 at half time after goals from Lucky Lekgwathi, Siyabonga Sangweni, Dillon Sheppard and Katlego Mashego.
The match started off at a quick pace but it was the hosts who threatened to open the scoring in the 10th minute when Siyabonga Nkosi beat Lekgwathi on the left side of the penalty area, but his low shot was blocked by Moeneeb Josephs at the near post.
Six minutes later fullback Thabo Matlaba came close to putting the ball in his own net when he tried to clear a cross from Mzivukile Tom, but he was relieved to see the ball coming off the upright.
The deadlock was eventually broken in the 26th minute when the visitors spread the ball wide to the right where Tlou Segolela was able to deliver a pinpoint cross for Lekgwathi to head past Da Rocha.
However, the joy was short-lived as Arrows levelled matters just one minute later when Josephs was beaten by a low shot from Dillon Sheppard which took a bounce in front of the Bucs goalkeeper.
Muhsin Ertugral’s men the extended their lead in the 29th minute when former Pirates player Katlego Mashego fired a left-footed free kick past Josephs’ reach.
The Buccaneers then rallied forward in search of the equaliser but were denied by some good goalkeeping from Da Rocha as blocked a shot from Thulasizwe Mbuyane in the 31st minute, before denying McCarthy six minutes later.
Augusto Palacios’ men did eventually draw level in the 40th minute through another defender as Sangweni connected with a cross from Daine Klate to head the ball into the back of the net.
The Buccaneers started the second half as the stronger side, using both wings effectively and it almost paid off in the 53rd minute when Segolela found McCarthy inside the penalty area, but he sent his header over the crossbar.
McCarthy did get it right eight minutes later when he got in ahead of his marker to head past Da Rocha from a long throw-in from Rooi Mahamutsa.
The former Porto star then grabbed his brace in the third minute of added time as he curled his free kick in at the near post from the edge of the penalty area to hand his side a two-goal cushion.
The Sea Robbers then held on for their lead to finish on top of the log with 58 points, while Arrows dropped to 13th place with 32 points. Lamontville Golden Arrows (2) 2 (Sheppard 27’, Mashego 29’)
Orlando Pirates (2) 4 (Lekgwathi 26’, Sangweni 40’, McCarthy 61’ 90+3’) Lamontville Golden Arrows:
Da Rocha, Tom, Nkosi (Van Heerden 70’), Mvalo, Mashego, Ngobeni, Johannes, Khuboni, Mlotshwa (Mbesuma 54’), Sheppard, Zwane (Hadebe 84’) Orlando Pirates:
Josephs, Matlaba, Mahamutsa, Sangweni, Lekgwathi, Segolela, Manyisa, Jali, Klate (Chansa 74’), Mbuyane (Rantie 90 +6’), McCarthy