Premier Soccer League match report Orlando Pirates 2-1 Ajax Cape Town
Posted: 27 January 2014 Time: 19:01
Orlando Pirates recorded their first victory of the year with a 2-1 defeat of Ajax Cape Town in the Premiership on Monday night.
Bucs, who picked up a point from their previous two outings, claimed the full share of the spoils via goals either side of the break from Khethowakhe Masuku and Thabo Matlaba at Orlando Stadium.
Granwald Scott pulled one back for the Urban Warriors, who were playing their first match under interim boss Ian Taylor following Muhsin Ertugral's departure from Ikamva last week.
The result saw the clubs swap spots in the standings, with Pirates now eighth on the table with 20 points from 11 games - one point ahead of ninth-placed Ajax.
The first half was a lacklustre affair, desperately short of goal-mouth action, as Pirates monopolised possession but battled to breach a stubborn Ajax outfit.
The visitors, though, offered very little going forward, prompting Taylor to replace Thato Mokeke, who was operating in midfield, with Toriq Losper barely 27 minutes in.
The Sea Robbers were largely restricted to shooting from range, as Man of the Match Lehlogonolo Masalesa, new signing Helder Pelembe and Thandani Ntshumayelo drew saves from Anssi Jaakkola with useful efforts.
The hosts, however, broke the deadlock in the 35th minute through Masuku, who scored with an attempted cross from the right which caught the typically alert Jaakkola by surprise.
Masuku's fortuitous strike triggered the heavens to open, with the rest of the stanza contested in heavy rain.
Both sides showed a greater intensity after the interval as hefty tackles were traded in midfield, particularly by the chasing Urban Warriors.
But Ajax were knocked back in the 56th minute, when Matlaba delicately curled the ball home from just inside the area following a neat exchange with Aubrey Ngoma.
Roger de Sa's men were in relative comfort for much of the second period, until Scott struck in the 71st minute. The former Ajax skipper volleyed the ball in on the turn after Pirates failed to deal with a long throw in to the box.
Taylor's charges gamely went in search of an equaliser, with Tasreeq Morris inspiring a sharp save late on by Senzo Meyiwa, but Bucs held their nerve to get the result.