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Orlando Stadium
20/10/2010 20:00

Aces shock Pirates

Posted: 20 October 2010 Time: 22:11

Mpumalanga Black Aces beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 in a League match on Wednesday.

Mpho Maleka scored the only goal in the 55th minute, handing Aces their first win of the season and condemning the Buccaneers to a surprise loss that comes in the wake of their triumph in the MTN8 and a great win over log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Pirates were the first to invade Aces’ territory when Thulasizwe Mbuyane played an inviting cross for Ezenwa Otorugu in the fourth minute, but Dennis Onyango was quick to intercept the dangerous looking ball.

Mesmeric runs by Tlou Segolela and Dikgang Mabalane on the flanks caused Neil Tovey’s side considerable concern, but there was no Otorugu or Mbuyane to connect with their well timed crosses in the Aces danger area.

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At some stages of the game, Pirates dominated, with Isaac Chansa and Clifford Ngobeni taking control of the midfield but their strikers could not manage to put the ball at the back of the net as they fluffed numerous chances.

However, Aces did not lie on their laurels and wait for a miracle to happen. The visitors also exerted pressure, despite the fact that the odds were heavily stacked against them, but their efforts had the elements of the present state of South African soccer: school boy errors and impatience in front of goal.

Mbuyane could have done better after he was set free by Segolela in the 30th minute but the Pirates two-goal hero against Sundowns shot straight into the feet of the diving Onyango in Aces’ goal, much to the disappointment of the Pirates’ fans and technical team. The half time score was 0-0.

Pirates came back the more determined side in the second half and in the 49th minute Ngobeni produced a great save out of Aces keeper Onyango, who parried the shot away for a corner.

In the 51st minute Aces might have thought they had opened the floodgates, but Mpho Maleka was adjudged to be offside by the referee.

That didn’t dampen the AmaZayoni spirits as they surged forward in search of that important opener, and they were finally rewarded when Maleka scored in the 55th minute.

Realising that time was running out, Pirates coach, Rudi Krol introduced Katlego Mashego in place of Robyn Johannes in the 73rd minute.

Pirates started attacking from all angles, but the Aces defence, led by Sibusiso Dabi and Marc Eberle stood firm. The Mpumalanga outfit did not let their grip on their lead slip. They soldiered on until the last whistle.

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