Johannesburg - Vladimir Vermezovic has made the perfect start to his tenure as coach of Orlando Pirates on Wednesday evening, as the Buccaneers edged Soweto neighbours Moroka Swallows 1-0 in a PSL clash at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.
Having received his work permit and cleared to take charge of his first game on South African shores in almost two years, Vermezovic watched on as Kermit Erasmus netted an early first half goal which proved the difference and guided Pirates to a tough victory on a soggy Dobsonville pitch.
The win was enough the see Pirates up to fourth position in the league standings, bouncing back from a shock defeat to the University of Pretoria last weekend.
Pirates shot out the gate and had their first chance as early as the fifth minute, denied only by the woodwork, as Erasmus rattled the upright and came dangerously close to taking the lead.
The crafty former SuperSport United attacker would not make the same mistake four minutes later, however, curling a right-footed effort past goalkeeper Greg Etafia, after finding himself in acres of space on the edge of the area and dispatching his effort goalwards.
Swallows struggled to find a way into the game and were kept largely to their own half by the Buccaneers, who dominated possession and looked in control as the game edged towards half-time.
Leading at the break, Pirates began the second period much the way they did the first, this time Helder Pelembe glancing the upright from distance, as Swallows again found the opening exchanges tough to handle after the interval.
The Sea Robbers kept up the pressure as Majoro entered the pitch on 68 minutes, before getting his first shot on target six minutes later, but was well blocked inside the area.
Ayanda Gcaba should have made it two from the subsequent corner, but the defender somehow managed to push his shot wide, letting Swallows off the hook late in the game.
Swallows could have salvaged a point at the death, but they too were denied by the post, as Siyabonga Nomvethe saw his deflected touch nick the upright and bounce away harmlessly four minutes from the end.
Senzo Meyiwa was then on hand in stoppage time to parry Nomvethe's powerful header up and away as Swallows saw their final chance go a-begging in front of their home supporters.
In the end, Swallows had to make do with no points, extending their run of games without a win to seven, and continue to look for their first win of 2014.
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