Pirates increase their lead

2011-03-02 23:02

Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates stretched their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership table to three points after beating Maritzburg United 3-1 at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

The win for the Buccaneers came at a crucial time with their closest challengers for the title, Ajax Cape Town and Kaizer Chiefs, playing to a loss and a draw in their respective midweek matches.

The Buccaneers now carry 49 points after 23 matches while Ajax and Chiefs have 46 and 44 points respectively.

Pirates went to the half-time break 1-0 ahead courtesy of a 35th minute header from striker Ndumiso Mabena before their defence went napping for United to find an equalizer through striker Rudolf Bester four minutes after the interval.

With the KwaZulu-Natalians thinking of a crucial point to ease their relegation woes, back-from-suspension winger Tlou Segolela splendidly curled his shot past the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Shu-aib Walters in the 88th minute before late substitute, midfielder Isaac Chansa completed a late surge in the 90th minute after being put through by Segolela.

Pirates entered the game with three changes from the team that played to a 1-1 draw against Chiefs at the weekend with Mabena, defender Robyn Johannes and Segolela replacing the suspended duo of Happy Jele and Thulasizwe Mbuyane with midfielder Isaac Chansa dropping to the bench.

It was Segolela who found the first clear cut chance of the encounter, but finished weakly from a cross on the left by Mabena in the 12th minute.

Mabena ballooned his effort a minute later before forcing United goalkeeper Shuaib Walters to splendidly tip his shot over the bar shortly before half-time.

While the Team of Choice rarely raised a threat in the first half, they came to life after the break after their coach Ernst Middendorp showed his intention of pressing forward by bringing on striker Diyo Sibisi for the ineffective Felix Obada.

This was rewarded with Bester scoring his eighth goal of the season, and coming agonisingly close to a brace after 66 minutes with his shot being cleared off the line by the panicking Pirates defence.

But it was Pirates who missed a chance to net a winner five minutes later when striker Bongani Ndulula -- on for Katlego Mashego shortly after half-time -- blasted his shot across the face of the goal.

However, they will feel that they had two strong cases for penalties in the dying minutes from a handball and later for Segolela being hacked in the box that were both turned down by referee Harry Lekitlane.

United remain in 14th place on the table with 21 points from their 23 matches.


  • nqalati - 2011-03-02 23:10

    Bucs all the way,up the bucs!!!!!

  • mavusexy - 2011-03-02 23:29

    The brand Premier Soccer League must change to Pirates Soccer League. I am a Khosi Fan but Pirates are playing good football for now.... We will see later.

      peter.shandukani - 2011-03-03 07:37

      There is no later chana, Pirates is hot iyatshisa..................

  • traedani - 2011-03-03 07:49

    It's not over until Pirates says so.....ask Amazulu and Chiefs they'll tell you.....Shapa bhakaniya shapaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...

  • mjmjanuary - 2011-03-03 08:10

    Who dares to challange me next? I'm looking for three cups this season ( top 8,leauge&nedbank cup). shapa buccaneer shapa

  • mafilo - 2011-03-03 08:26

    Well done guys - Up The Bucs for sure... Just keep calm, focused and belive in yourselves as a team... Thanks Krol and your technical team... I recorn we will take this tittle if we collect 18 points from the possible 21 points that are still up for grabs.

  • Puna$ - 2011-03-03 08:45

    we going to see the repeat of the 2004/2005 season....Amakhosi will come back....good results for pirates,but four points is not that big difference.

  • riaanmoses - 2011-03-03 09:50

    It's finally happening it's been years I'm a Orlando Pirates supporter since my primary school days. I have been waiting for this fora very long time. After all the disappointment after Chiefs and Sundowns supports joked and laughed at as for season upon season I think it's save to the Sea robbers the Ghost is back there is no way we losing the league title. Rudi Krol thank you for bringing glory and respect back to the Pirates faithful.

  • molokwane paul mpho - 2011-03-03 12:22

    Congratulation for beating Maritzburg United. U better watch out in your game against the black horse. Chiefs dont deserve to be champions league champ after such dissapointment in their game against Vasco Da Gama. Make the Sowetans proud by bringing the trophy to Soweto. We are counting on you guys. Halala Happy People............. your days are back. Podolski e Z/2 endofire

  • Maano - 2011-03-03 12:33

    we r on our way to glory, only 7 games left

  • Tlou - 2011-03-03 12:35


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