Pirates get late win
Posted: 12 November 2008 Time: 21:51
Orlando Pirates scraped through on Wednesday night with a 1-0 against Platinum Stars at the Johannesburg Stadium in the Absa Premiership.
The first half must have been one of the most boring 45 minutes of the 2008/09 season thus far. The only excitement of a dismal first half came in the 13th minute.
A misdirected through ball from Stars deflected off a Pirates defender which initiated a race to the ball between Phumudzo Manenzhe and Moeneeb Josephs that ended in a head-on collision: the Buccaneers goalie came flying out of his box but was just beat to the ball by the Stars striker, who in the process clashed with Josephs' head.
Consequently the game was stopped for a couple of minutes before Josephs had to be taken off as he was bleeding profusely from the head.
There was only a single attempt on goal in the entire first half and that came from none other than Bafana Bafana man Teko Modise in the 30th minute. He let fly from 20 yards out but it was a horrific shot as he dragged it dolefully wide.
The whole stadium breathed a sigh of relief when the referee ended the first half and all hoped for a far better second.
The second half produced a much better affair as the sides came out of the break determined to find a goal.
The first chance of the half came from the boot of Modise again who fired off a powerful shot from 25 yards out that sailed agonizingly wide of the post, and would surely have been one of the goals of the season.
Only two minutes later and it was Stars on the attack when George Mofokeng rose above the defence from a right hand-cross but headed the ball just over the cross-bar.
In the 55th minute Gilbert Mushangazike had the best opportunity of the game to score for Pirates when a beautiful pass from Lebogang Mothibantwa found him unmarked inside the box but Tapuwa Kapini was out of goal quickly to deny him.
Platinum Stars came closest to taking the lead in the 60th minute when Godfrey Sapula struck the inside of the Pirates goal post. A cross came in from the right and Sapula stretched with every inch of himself to toe-poke the ball on the edge of the six yard box, but he needed to be a toe taller as he only managed to touch the ball onto the up-right.
Mushangazike found himself one-on-one with the Stars goalie again in the 66th minute after some great individual skill. He broke through the defence after dribbling a couple of players but he took to long to get his shot off and the Stars defence managed to scramble back in time to clear the danger.
Eventually in the 84th minute some poor goalkeeping from Kapini saw the game's only goal. An in-swinging corner from the right found Thulasizwe Mbuyane unmarked at the back post. He headed the ball through the keeper's legs, who should have saved it easily, 1-0.
The game ended 1-0 to Pirates and they picked up a vital three points ahead of this weekend's big Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs.