Rustenburg - A 69th minute penalty from Andile Jali took Orlando Pirates to a narrow 1-0 victory over a 10-man Platinum Stars in their Absa Premiership match at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, in Rustenburg, on Saturday.
In new coach Roger de Sa's first game in charge, The Buccaneers were handed the advantage in the 18th minute as Thabiso Semenya was given his second yellow card and his marching orders. It meant the visitors had over 70 minutes with an extra man, and the solitary goal came in the 69th minute through the Jali penalty.
For all their efforts, Pirates did not create many clear cut chances but were the dominant side throughout and come away with a well-earned three points.
With the win, Pirates move to seven points from four games, while Stars remain on three from their four matches.
Earlier, the start of the match was delayed by 20 minutes as both teams came out in the same colour socks. As the away team Pirates were forced to change to enable the match to start.
The better chances fell to Pirates early on, and in the 14th minute The Buccaneers were close to opening the scoring. Sifiso Myeni should have put the ball in the back of the net with a well-timed run to get in behind the Stars defence, but his shot flew over the crossbar. His blushes were saved as the linesman ruled the attack offside.
Two minutes later, Onyekachi Okonkwo for Pirates tried a shot from a tight angle inside the box, but his attempt was just wide.
The talking point of the first half - devoid of goals - came in the 18th minute as the hosts were reduced to 10 men. Stars player Semenya was given a second yellow card for a deliberate, and needless, handball in the middle of the field, and Stars were a man short for the remaining 70 minutes.
Myeni in the 24th minute threatened to score, but from in the area with men waiting in the middle, was hesitant and faked a pass before finally having his tame shot blocked.
Another wasted opportunity fell to Pirates in the 41st minute.
Takesure Chinyama, unmarked on the edge of the area for Pirates, opted to go for the first time shot and as a result deposited his strike into the crowd.
In the 69th minute a handball in the box from Stars player Ntsikelelo Nyauza gifted Pirates their penalty. Jali made no mistake as he put the visitors ahead, to claim full points away from home.