Pirates stunned by Aces
Mpho Maleka (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Mpumalanga Black Aces shocked Orlando Pirates to secure a 1-0 victory in their Absa Premiership clash at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Wednesday night, picking up their first win of the season.
The Buccaneers were guilty of complacency and were outwitted by an Aces outfit that looked more eager to to play attacking football, with Mpho Maleka finding the back of the net in the 56th minute.
Early on Aces enjoyed the majority of the possession, but weren't able to do much with it though as the Pirates defence held firm.
The visitors, however, continued to dominate with some quick passing football while Pirates opted to go with long range balls and achieved little success.
Aces seemed nervous on attack, wasting opportunities by shooting from distance after good buildup play, and Pirates fought back on the half hour when they strung a number of passes together.
Moving the ball up the middle with speed, it was finally released to striker Thulasizwe Mbuyane on the left whose powerful shot from 10 metres out produced a good reaction save from Aces keeper Denis Onyango.
With half-time approaching, Pirates began to dominate, spearheaded by Dikgang Mabalane who showed impressive form with some good turns and pace.
After the break the Buccaneers came out looking stronger and started surging forward.
A Pirates corner in the 49th minute was dealt with by the visitors, only to see midfielder Clifford Ngobeni smash a powerful shot which Onyango had to dive at full stretch to tip over the posts.
Aces were denied the lead in the 52nd minute by the linesman when striker Mpho Maleka was adjudged offside after putting the ball in the back of the net.
Four minutes later Maleka struck again, silencing the crowd as he scored the only goal of the game to take give the visitors the lead.
Aces attacked with successive corners, and the strike came from a goal mouth scuffle when the Pirates defence failed to clear their line and Maleka was able to nudge the ball in.
In the last 20 minutes, Pirates threw everything at Aces but were ultimately guilty of overconfidence as the visitors walked away with three deserved points.