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Orlando Stadium
15/02/2012 19:30

Bucs labour to three points

Posted: 15 February 2012 Time: 21:37

Orlando Pirates started the second half of the season on a winning note, beating Black Leopards 1-0 at Orlando Stadium.

An early Thulasizwe Mbuyane goal was all that separated the teams as Bucs put up a pretty uninspiring performance, but did enough to hold out for the three points against a Leopards team that never had enough in attack.

Pirates started the match strongly and could have opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute when Benni McCarthy set up Siyabonga Sangweni with a one-on-one chance against the goalkeeper, but the defender missed his attempted volley.

As it was, Bucs took the lead just three minutes later. Right-back Bheki Nzunga provided a great cross and Mbuyane buried a bullet header into the top corner.

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On the quarter-hour mark Pirates should have made it 2-0 as Lucky Lekgwathi had a free header from a corner-kick, but the skipper completely mis-timed his effort and the ball bounced wide.

As the half wore on Pirates lost their early sharpness and rhythm, allowing Leopards to come into the game more. However, apart from a half chance for Benedict Vilakazi – where the midfielder hesitated when presented with a shooting chance – the visitors hardly troubled Bucs’ backline.

Leopards made a double change early in the second half, sending on Humphrey Khoza and Rodney Ramagalela. The tactical shuffle certainly saw the Limpopo team up their game in attack, though they were unable to create any clear scoring chances.

Pirates continued to look disjointed in attack, though another good cross from Nzunga handed Mabena a scoring chance from which the forward placed a diving header straight at the keeper, while Rooi Mahamutsa also had a header from a corner sail over.

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