Absa Premiership

Pirates up to 5th after Mhango hat-trick

2020-01-07 21:33
Gabadinho Mhango
Gabadinho Mhango (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates moved in to fifth position on the Absa Premiership standings with a 4-1 victory over Polokwane City at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Gabadinho Mhango grabbed a brilliant hat-trick to go top of the Absa Premiership goalscoring charts.

Pirated took the lead in the fifth minute. After winning the ball back quickly in midfield, Luvuyo Memela released Mhango with the Malawian forward cutting inside and curling the ball expertly in to the far corner.

In the 13th minute, Ben Motshwari unleashed a stinging long-range drive that brought George Chigova in to a fine diving save to his right.

Soon after, the visitors doubled their lead. Fortune Makaringe played a beautiful through ball over the top for Mhango, who lobbed Chigova brilliantly with the volley.

The Buccanneers were playing some terrific football at times. Innocent Maela broke through the Rise and Shine defence in the 28th minute after some briliiant one-touch passing and movement but could not dink his effort over Chigova.

Mhango grabbed his hat-trick in the 36th minute. Abel Mabaso broke down the right-hand side with some impressive pace and squared the ball in to the box for Mhango to complete a simple finish at the back post.

The hosts had a chance to pull a goal back in the 39th minute when they won a penalty after Puleng Tlolane cut inside in to the box with Ntsikelelo Nyauza handballing as he slid on the ground. However, Mohamed Anas' spot-kick hit the left side of the crossbar and went over.

The Sea Robbers made it four just before the break - albeit in rather fortuitous circumstances with the ball being inadvertently directed in to the path of Motshwari, who chipped the outcoming Chigova.

Mhango had an excellent opportunity for number four on the hour mark. After another killer counter-attack from Pirates, the ball was worked down the right-hand side to Thembinkosi Lorch, who produced a brilliant cross for Mhango, but he could not direct the effort on target.

The hosts pulled a goal back in the 64th minute. Having missed a penalty, Anas made amends when he tapped in Salulani Phiri's cross-cum-shot back across goal.

Phiri brought a fine save out of Wayne Sandilands with a header from Jabulani Maluleke's corner with ten minutes to go.

Nyauza had a chance to grab a fifth for the Buccanneers when he ran on to Mhango's through ball but couldn't finish.

- TEAMTalk


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