PSL

Mhlongo: We're coming out of a bad spell

2016-01-14 11:45
Brighton Mhlongo (Gallo Images)
  Video

Joe Allen scored a vital equalising goal against Arsenal in the dying minutes of their English Premiership encounter and Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp could not contain his excitement.

Johannesburg - Brighton Mhlongo made an impressive return as Orlando Pirates continued their PSL revival by beating the University of Pretoria 2-0 on Wednesday.

Captain Thabo Matlaba put the Buccaneers ahead in the 47th minute at Orlando Stadium in Soweto and Sifiso Myeni assured victory for the hosts with a goal in the 85th minute.

Recalled after a six-month injury lay-off, Mhlongo made a string of fine first-half saves as second-from-bottom Amatuks created more scoring chances.

The 25-year-old was voted man of the match a day after his birthday and praised his 'family' for helping regain the starting line-up place ahead of Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper Felipe Ovono.

"By 'family' I mean by own, and all those who helped me regain full fitness," said the shot-stopper who succeeded murdered Senzo Meyiwa in late 2014.

South African and Pirates captain Meyiwa was shot dead at the home of a friend south of Johannesburg in a crime yet to be solved.

"I dedicate this victory to my support team," added Mhlongo. "It was a collective effort and we are coming out of a bad spell, which every team suffers."

Pirates, runners-up to Etoile Sahel of Tunisia in the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup, made a disastrous start to the Premiership season, winning just one of seven games.

But the triumph over Pretoria was the third in five matches and pleased coach Eric Tinkler, the target of a long-running social media campaign demanding his dismissal.

"The result was what mattered - not how we played," stressed the former national team midfielder. "We have got to maintain the momentum."

Victory lifted the Buccaneers to 10th place after 13 rounds - 14 points adrift of leaders Bidvest Wits with a game in hand.

Amatuks, who have scored just six goals in 13 outings, remain perilously placed just two points above bottom club Maritzburg United.

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13 September 2016
Ajax Cape Town v Orlando Pirates, Cape Town Stadium 19:30
Highlands Park v Baroka FC, Makhulong Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v Wits, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
14 September 2016
Kaizer Chiefs v Platinum Stars, FNB Stadium 19:30
Free State Stars v Bloemfontein Celtic, Goble Park Stadium 19:30
Maritzburg United v Mamelodi Sundowns, Harry Gwala Stadium 19:30
SuperSport United v Chippa United, Lucas Moripe Stadium 19:30
Golden Arrows v Cape Town City, Prince Magogo Stadium 19:30
20 September 2016
Ajax Cape Town v Polokwane City, Cape Town Stadium 19:30
Baroka FC v Wits, New Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Orlando Pirates v Cape Town City, Orlando Stadium 19:30
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