Arrows put one over Pirates
Posted: 30 August 2008 Time: 17:03
Golden Arrows beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 in their first game of the new season.
Kagiso Dikgacoi shrugged off the disappointment of an unsuccessful move to Fulham and opened the scoring for Arrows, while Teko Modise, Excellent Walaza and Benson Mhlongo came close for Pirates.
In the second half, Pirates tried to push men forward, but this opened up space for Arrows to use the long ball. Dikgacoi sprayed passes to the wings, finding Andile Nale in space at will. The home side were unable to convert their chances, however, and the game finished 1-0.
The game started energetically, and both teams ran at each other in an attempt to gain first advantage. The action, however, was confined to midfield, with goal attempts few and far between and confined to tame long-rang efforts.
The game sprang into life in the 21st minute, when Seema’s back-pass evaded Pirates keeper Moeneeb Josephs, who had to scramble to clear off the line and very nearly didn’t make it. The miscommunication seemed to rattle Pirates, and Arrows pressed the advantage.
Seconds later Dikgacoi’s long-range shot was deflected into the path of Philani Shange, whose powerful drive was tipped over the bar by Josephs. Arrows made it 1-0 from the resulting corner, Dikgacoi rising unchallenged on the edge of the six-yard box to head home on 22 minutes.
On the half-hour mark Teko Modise ballooned a long-range shot over the bar, with the second of Pirates’ weak first-half attempts on goal.
Pirates had a run on goal again five minutes from half-time, but Walaza’s shot went wide from close-range.
Arrows were the more dangerous side in the closing minutes of the first half, and went into the break deservedly 1-0 up.
Both teams came out all guns blazing in the second half.
Pirates opened the attack, and Modise’s free-kick from outside the area found Mhlongo, whose header was saved by Arrows keeper Brenden Wardle.
Arrows came back with two clear chances, and then earned a penalty in the 65th minutes, when Italo Fernandes was fouled by Linda Mkhwanazi in the box. Dikgacoi’s attempt was driven more or less to the centre of goal and was easily dealt with by Josephs.
A few minutes later Thulasiswe Mbuyane found space in the box, and his pile-driver shaved the upright. Modise suffered a similar fate in the 70th minute, when his third free-kick from the same area ricocheted off the post.
Walaza had a good shot on the turn on 75 minutes, but the ball went into the side netting. The young striker came close again four minutes later, when he muscled his way through two defenders to head the ball towards goal. The attempt drew a save from Wardle, who punched the ball against the post.
Mhlongo had a chance to secure a draw in the third minute of extra-time, but he blazed over from six yards with only the keeper to beat, and the game ended 1-0 to the home side.