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21/11/2012 19:30

Bucs thump Leopards to close gap

Posted: 21 November 2012 Time: 21:22

Orlando Pirates closed the gap on arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs with a 4-0 drubbing of Black Leopards on Wednesday night.

Goals from Collins Mbesuma, Thandani Ntshumayelo, Daine Klate and a fairy tale strike from Happy Jele saw second-placed Orlando Pirates narrow the points deficit to four from Kaizer Chiefs.

The first real chance of the match fell to Pirates in the 15th minute as Azwindini Maphaha made a great to deny Oupa Manyisa, who had received a pass from Klate from a corner kick.

In the 26th minute Maphaha pulled off another superb save, this time to deny Klate's right-footed effort from inside the box.

Leopards had their best chance of the first stanza as Joshua Obaje rounded Senzo Meyiwa, but Lidoda Duvha were unlucky to watch his shot cleared off the line by Lucky Lekgwathi.

A minute before the half ended, Pirates had arguably their best chance of the half when Klate’s defence-splitting pass found an unmarked Masuku, but again Mapaha kept Pirates at bay.

A minute into first half stoppage time, Leopards’ Michael Nkambule missed a sitter from just inside the box as he shot high with Meyiwa at his mercy.

Pirates’ perseverance paid off when a mistake from the Leopards defence saw Mbesuma benefit; he was left unmarked and unleashed a thunderous left-footed shot into the roof of the net.

Man of the Match Ntshumayelo doubled the lead when a short corner taken by Masuku found him on the edge of the box and the midfielder unleashed a rocket past Maphaha in the 60th minute.

Bucs showed they are true champions as they made it 3-0 - Segolela crossed for Klate on the right side and the winger volleyed home.

Jele then put the final nail in the coffin. The defender got in front of the Leopards keeper on the near post and headed home from a corner; an incredible story for a player returning from a career-threatening long injury layoff.

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