Mpumalanga Black Aces vs Orlando Pirates PSL Absa Premiership report
Posted: 21 February 2016 Time: 14:08
Orlando Pirates secured an important 3-1 win over Mpumalanga Black Aces in their Absa Premiership clash at Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Thabo Rakhale gave Pirates a fifth-minute lead with a great close-range volley from Luvuyo Memela's right-wing cross. Memela got his head up early and picked out Rakhale's run across his marker at the back post, and the finish was excellent.
But it was 1-1 after just 12 minutes as Collins Mbesuma scored his 12th Absa Premiership goal with a powerful finish past Brighton Mhlongo's near post after good work from Bryce Moon down the right. Mbesuma picked up Moon's cutback and surprised Mhlongo with an early, angled left-footed shot.
Pirates bossed the majority of the possession and controlled the play, with Memela and Rakhale looking particularly impressive for the Buccaneers, although Aces were always dangerous on the counter-attack.
Aces had a great chance after their equaliser when Aubrey Ngoma picked out Bhongolethu Jayiya running free at the far post but Mbesuma, his adrenaline obviously still pumping after the goal, tried a bicycle kick and ruined the chance.
Mpho Makola hit the crossbar with a direct free-kick, Gift Motupa fired two shots just wide and Issa Sarr missed a great chance on the volley after being perfectly picked out by Rakhale as Pirates tried for a second goal, but the first half ended 1-1.
Eric Tinkler's side eventually made their dominance count in the second half, after Tendai Ndoro was brought on for Lehlohonolo Majoro.
Ndoro scored a bizarre goal in the 69th minute to give his side the lead, threading an excellent diagonal ball towards Motupa's diagonal run, but Motupa missed the ball and confused Shu-Aib Walters, who was flatfooted as the ball trickled over the line.
There was some doubt about whether Motupa got the slightest of touches to Ndoro's pass, but there was no doubt whatsoever about the next goal as Ndoro turned and bagged his second of the game by burying a shot into the bottom-right corner from the edge of the area.
Ndoro almost got a hat-trick in stoppage time when Makola played him through the middle, but the Zimbabwean striker could only shoot wide under pressure.
The result moves Pirates up to seventh place, while Aces are now 10 points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
HOME: Mpumalanga Black Aces
Coach: Muhsin Ertugral
AWAY: Orlando Pirates
Coach: Eric Tinkler