Pirates edge Sundowns
Posted: 25 February 2014 Time: 18:43
Orlando Pirates ended a three-game winless streak in the League with a 1-0 defeat of Mamelodi Sundowns in Tshwane on Tuesday night.
In an even contest, Man of the Match Khethokwakhe Masuku got the goal in the 37th minute from close range following good work from Helder Pelembe round the edge of the area.
Both sides started the match cautiously but it was Sundowns who threatened first with Anthony Laffor shooting over the target in the 21st minute, while Rodney Ramagalela forced a finger-tip save from Senzo Meyiwa nine minutes later.
Pirates, though, struck shortly before the interval, as Masuku tapped the ball into an open net from close range following Pelembe's cross fromt he left.
Meyiwa then pulled off a great save in the first minute of added time to keep his side in the lead, diving to his right to parry a solid free-kick from Hlompho Kekana.
Pirates almost punished Sundowns from a counter-attack a minute later but Elias Pelembe made a last ditch tackle to dispossess Oupa Manyisa inside the box.
Downs coach Pitso Mosimane made a change at the break, bringing on Lebohang Mokoena in place of Laffor, and it was the substitute who saw his shot deflected just wide of the post in the 55th minute.
Pelembe should have extended his side’s advantage in the 70th minute when he was put through by Masuku, but he lost the ball forward while trying to dribble past Kennedy Mweene.
Sundowns threatened late in the game but Ramagalela’s low shot was turned around the post by Meyiwa in the 81st minute, while Thandani Ntshumayelo did well to clear Rashid Sumaila’s header off the line six minutes later.
The Brazilians, who recently won the reverse tie, remain in second place on the table with 34 points from 18 matches, while Pirates are up to sixth with 27 points from 16 matches.