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Cape Town Stadium
27/08/2010 18:00

Pirates win season opener

Posted: 27 August 2010 Time: 20:08

Orlando Pirates came from behind to beat Vasco da Gama 2-1 in a pulsating opening to the Absa Premiership season at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday.

Some 45 000 fans turned up for the double-header that also saw Ajax Cape Town and Bloemfontein Celtic in action, and were not disappointed by a highly entertaining encounter.

Veteran Sibusiso Zuma put Vasco ahead, before goals from Lucky Lekgwathi and Isaac Chansa sealed the points for Pirates.

After soaking up early pressure from Bucs, Vasco took the lead on 22 minutes through the 35-year-old Zuma. Hendricks' cross to the back post was headed onto the crossbar and in by the veteran former Bafana Bafana international.

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It was a sweat moment for the former Pirates man, who has plenty to prove this season after a poor spell with Mamelodi Sundowns.

The visitors were level just past the half-hour mark though as Lekgwathi bundled the ball home from close range. Vasco failed to clear the danger from a corner and when the ball was put back into the box, goalkeeper Jason Barnard could only get a soft hand on it. Lekgwathi turned the ball home with an over-head kick from about a yard out.

Ndumiso Mabena had two great chances to give Pirates the lead in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, first heading wide from Klate's tantalising cross, and then seeing Barnard pull off a world-class save to deny him from 15 yards.

But Pirates were ahead through Chansa, who took his goal well as he unleashed a shot from the edge of the box that Barnard was unable to stop.

Josephs pulled off a fine save to deny the brilliant Zuma, while substitute Bradley August hit the outside of the post with a towering header that had Josephs beaten.

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