Cape Town - Thabo
Matlaba and Sifiso Myeni scored second half goals as Orlando Pirates defeated
University of Pretoria 2-0 in an Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium on
Buccaneers were in danger of being joined on the same points tally by AmaTuks
in a match somewhat cheekily dubbed a ‘relegation six-pointer’ in the build-up,
but the victory sees them move into the top 10 of the standings while the
Pretoria side remains second from bottom.
created a couple of early chances for Kermit Erasmus and Issa Sarr – neither of
which they were able to capitalise on – but the first clear opportunity went
the way of former Bucs player Lennox Bacela, who shot straight at Brighton
Mhlongo after cutting inside from the left.
through the first half the Soweto side almost claimed the lead through Erasmus,
who arrived the near post to turn a cross on target but was denied by a sharp
reaction save from goalkeeper Washington Arubi.
a minute later Pirates needed Mhlongo to make an excellent double save, denying
Bacela and Thabo Mnyamane in quick succession, while on 35 minutes the young
‘keeper again saved his team by touching the latter attacker’s long-range shot
onto the post.
missed opportunities in the first half came back to haunt them early in the
second, with Thabo Matlaba breaking the deadlock in the 47th minute
to put Bucs 1-0 up. The overlapping left-back ran onto a perfectly-weighted
pass from Erasmus and fired the ball into the back of the net via the underside
of the crossbar, giving Arubi no chance of making a save.
goal gave Pirates the confidence to go on and dominate the game, but they
spurned several good opportunities to add to their advantage, with the best
seeing Erasmus fluff a shot at close range after he had been well picked out
from the by-line by Thabo Rakhale in the 67th minute.
hosts finally wrapped up the game in the 85th minute when Sifiso
Myeni arrived late in the box to fire home a loose ball after Tuks’ defence
failed to clear a dangerous cross from another overlap by Matlaba.