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Dobsonville Stadium
12/03/2014 19:30

Winning start for VV, Majoro

Posted: 12 March 2014 Time: 18:50

Vladimir Vermezovic got his Orlando Pirates tenure off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory against Moroka Swallows at Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday night.

Kermit Erasmus scored the only goal early on in a game the Buccaneers dominated, though the Birds almost equalized late on but for some Senzo Meyiwa heroics.

Vermezovic opted to start new signing Lehlohonolo Majoro on the bench and gave a rare start to Tlou Segolela.

Erasmus had almost given Bucs the lead on five minutes when he latched onto Thabo Matlaba’s pass, but his powerful drive cannoned back off the woodwork.

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However, he had his goal four minutes later, and again Matlaba was involved. His sweeping pass across the field found Segolela, and he in turn laid off a pass to Erasmus, who shot from the edge of the area and beat Greg Etafia.

Pirates were dominating the early exchanges and came close again two minutes later when Helder Pelembe beat a defender to Ntsikelelo Nyauza’s cross, but his header went wide.

Bucs continued to have the better of the game and found themselves on the receiving end of some robust challenges, but could not create any other clear-cut chances before halftime.

Instead, it was Swallows who came closest four minutes from the break, but Lerato Chabangu’s free-kick went just over.

Pirates almost had a second goal straight after the break when Helder Pelembe was given too much space on the edge of the area, but his left-footed shot skimmed the outside of the upright.

Substitute Edward Manqele almost scored with his first touch when he shot from the edge of the area, but the ball hit the side-netting.

Majoro finally made his long-awaited debut with 20 minutes to go, and he should have been celebrating with his teammates when the ball fell at Ayanda Gcaba’s feet right in front of goal from a corner-kick, but the defender fired wide.

With one eye on Saturday’s Derby against Kaizer Chiefs, Pirates took their foot off the gas in the latter stages - and they were almost made to pay for it.

Siyabonga Nomvete hit the upright from Tshwarelo Bereng’s cross with three minutes to go, before Senzo Meyiwa pulled off two world-class saves – first to deny Nomvete before bravely saving at Larry Cohen’s feet in the dying seconds.

The victory sees Pirates up to fourth place, while Swallows make it seven matches without a victory and lip down to 11th.

Follow me on Twitter @KickOffCooper

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