Premier Soccer League match report
Posted: 4 February 2014 Time: 19:04
Orlando Pirates interim coach Eric Tinkler claimed three points in his first game in charge of Bucs following a 2-1 victory over his former club Bidvest Wits on Tuesday night.
Wits struck first through their captain Sibusiso Vilakazi, but the Buccaneers hit back via second-half goals from strikers Helder Pelembe and Kermit Erasmus at Orlando Stadium.
The result leaves Pirates sixth on the Premiership table with 23 points from 12 games - two points behind fifth-placed Wits, and 13 points adrift of pacesetting champions Kaizer Chiefs, who have played an extra four fixtures.
Tinkler's men - who came under his control following Roger de Sa's exit from Mayfair last week - should have scored in the first minute of the tie. However, Lehlogonolo Masalesa ballooned the ball over the cross bar from close range following a Happy Jele flick-on off a corner.
The hosts continued to dominate early on, as Pelembe flashed an effort narrowly wide of Moeneeb Josephs' goal before Aubrey Ngoma drilled a shot straight at the Wits goalkeeper.
But it was the Students who drew first blood in the 20th minute, as Vilakazi tucked in a right-wing cross at the near post after stealing in ahead of Jele.
The home side nearly equalised just before the half-hour mark, but Josephs, who impressed in his first outing since being blasted by Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula for his Chan showing, pulled off a sharp reaction save to deny Pelembe's first-time shot from the edge of the area.
Soon after, ex-Buccaneer Josephs dropped down smartly to his left to keep out a powerful long-range strike from Man of the Match Khethokwakhe Masuku, as Wits took a narrow lead into the break.
Jele threatened 10 minutes after the interval, but the overlapping right-back blasted over on the angle after being teed up in the area by the tricky Masuku.
At the other end, new Wits signing Sthembiso Ngcobo headed wide off a right-wing cross from Erwin Isaacs.
The Sea Robbers, though, got even in the 56th minute through Pelembe, who brilliantly nodded in a corner from Masuku for his first goal for the Soweto giants.
Tinkler's charges then went ahead in the 73rd minute when Erasmus, a second-half replacement for midfielder Masalesa, headed in a left-wing cross from Thabo Matlaba, with the visitors unable to find a way back in Soweto.