Johannesburg - A goal in each half by Oupa Manyisa and Thabo Rakhale saw Orlando Pirates take three Absa Premiership points when they defeated Black Aces 2-1 at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.
The win takes Pirates to position three with 43 points from 24 matches, while Aces go down from position 13 to 11 with 26 points from 24 matches.
However, it was the visitors who moved forward looking for an opening goal but lovely goalkeeping by Brighton Mhlongo in the sixth minute denied Ndoro following a brilliant pass from Collins Mbesuma and a follow up shot from Eddie Ngalo gave the Pirates stopper no problems.
In the 18th minute, good movement by the hosts saw them making their entry into the Aces box, but their decision making let them down. In retaliation, Ndoro almost caused an upset but again Mhlongo read the situation as he came out of his posts.
Although Eric Tinkler was relieved to have Lehlohonolo Majoro back, he failed to easily convert a cross from Happy Jele down the right flank and in the 25th minute the Ladybrand-born striker found himself in a good position but his shot hit the side-netting.
However, with one minute to go to the tunnel, captain Oupa Manyisa put the hosts ahead from a penalty when Thandani Ntshumayelo was pulled by S’boniso Gumede inside the box.
In the beginning of the second stanza, both sides came back from the tunnel not showing the same intensity as the rain started to pour down heavily. However, it was Tinkler’s men who showed intentions to consolidate.
The introduction of the Ghost fan favourite, Thabo Rakhale, in the 60th minute changed the way the Buccaneers operated in the middle of the park. After 12 minutes in the game, he was free in the middle of the park and he managed to cut inside, unleashing a curling shot, which gave Jackson Mabokgwane no chance, to double the lead.
In the 76th minute, the Zimbabwean-born forward Tendai Ndoro netted a consolation goal and his seventh in the league when he converted a penalty after Thabo Matlaba was adjudged to have fouled Mbesuma inside the box.
A minute later, substitute Kermit Erasmus tried his best but failed to beat AmaZayoni keeper when his shot went wide.
With three minutes to play in injury time, Jacob Sakala’s pairing of Mbesuma and Ndoro nearly paid off as the Zambian saw his attempt blocked by Siyabonga Sangweni and Ndoro’s follow-up went over the bar.
Orlando Pirates (1) 2 (Manyisa 45’ pen, Rakhale 71’)
Black Aces (0) 1 (Ndoro 75’)
Orlando Pirates: Mhlongo, Jele, Matlaba, Sangweni, Mahamutsa, Ntshumayelo, Mvelase (Rakhale 60’), Masalesa (Nyauza 79’), Myeni, Majoro, Manyisa,
Black Aces: Mabokgwane, Kobola, Nonyane, Gumede, Gyimah, Ngalo, Jayiya (Ndlovu 54’), Okonkwo, Ngoma (Masina 70’), Ndoro, Mbesuma