Bucs tighten grip at the top
Posted: 23 September 2009 Time: 22:11
Orlando Pirates beat Platinum Stars 1-0 at the Orlando Stadium to extend their lead at the top of the standings to four points.
Besides the fact that they kept their seventh consecutive clean-sheet, it was not a great game to watch, especially in the second half, when Bucs threw bodies behind to defend Lucas Thwala’s 32nd-minute goal.
It was a dreary affair in many respects in the first half and things didn’t improve in the second stanza either.
Katlego Mashego tested Wayne Sandilands in the 12th minute after receiving a pass from Teko Modise, who had a game to forget.
In the 24th minute, Siphelele Mthembu hit the upright with a header from a Josephy Kamwendo cross and a follow-up from skipper Benson Mhlongo hit the side netting.
Thwala then got the crowd celebrating with just over 30 minutes gone, again from a Kamwendo cross, which the Bafana Bafana defender kept a cool head to slot home past Sandilands.
Ruud Krol’s men resorted to defensive tactics in the second half and with Stars strikers like substitute Bradley Grobler misfiring, Bucs emerged winners, though they know it was not their greatest game.
Krol had to endure a terrible spell in the second half, when the supporters called for substitutions and finally relenting to the pressure by bringing in Mlungisi Gumbi and Terror Fanteni, who fluffed a sitter in the dying moments from a Dikgang Mabalane cross.