Maritzburg down champs Bucs
Pietermaritzburg - Maritzburg United clawed back from a goal down to bag an upset 2-1 victory over defending champions Orlando Pirates in an Premiership match in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.
Pirates striker Benni McCarthy was initially the hero for his team, scoring in the 24th minute, but ended the match as the villain after he was sent off.
The visitors came out firing from the outset, keeping Maritzburg's goalkeeper, Shu-Aib Walters, on his toes.
The home side had their first realistic attempt at goal in the 17th minute when Prince Olomu took a half-chance with Pirates' Siyabonga Sangweni blocking his shot.
McCarthy, who was handed a yellow card for handling the ball in the 12th minute, redeemed himself midway through the first half when he deflected a pass from Thulasizwe Mbuyane to the top left corner of the Maritzburg net.
The Buccaneers continued to push forward and enjoyed the majority of the possession, but struggled to find cohesion.
They received a massive blow shortly before the interval when McCarthy was shown his second yellow card for violent conduct when he challenged for a ball in the air.
The former Bafana Bafana striker was subsequently sent off, leaving Pirates with 10 men.
Martizburg came out firing in the second half, showing some serious intent for the first time in the match.
With a player short, the pressure from the hosts proved too much for the Buccaneers, and Diyo Sibisi connected with an inswinging corner from Felix Obada to equalise.
Pirates seemed rattled after the goal, and Maritzburg increased their intensity on attack.
The home side seemed to grow in confidence, making the most of their opportunities, and asked numerous questions of the Pirates defence.
Maritzburg took the lead in the 77th minute with Mor Diouf heading the ball into the top left corner from a Peter Petersen cross.
It was the home side's first win of the season, after two drawn matches, and Pirates were handed their first defeat.