Pelembe pounces as Pirates win
Posted: 15 April 2014 Time: 19:04
A late goal from Helder Pelembe clinched a 1-0 win for Orlando Pirates over Maritzburg United in their Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night.
It was all Pirates in the opening 20 minutes of the match as Rooi Mahamutsa and Happy Jele had the most noteworthy attempts at goal, but with no success.
Maritzburg defended valiantly to keep the score at 0-0 in a battling display from Steve Komphela's side.
Mahamutsa was the first to raise some excitement as he strode forward from the halfway line and unleashed a ferocious, dipping drive that Shu-Aib Walters did well to tip over the bar.
The best chance of the half fell to Jele, who rose highest to meet Khethokwakhe Masuku's corner with his head, but Ruben Cloete was in the right place on the near post to head his attempt clear.
There were some nasty challenges flying around as well. First Cloete went studs-up on Gabuza, before Masalesa showed poor technique, going over the ball to clatter into Ashley Hartog's shins as four yellow cards were flashed by the referee.
After the second half restarted Gabuza had a sniff of goal as he was played in on the penalty spot but Mohamed Awal made a timely last-ditch tackle to steal the ball off the former Golden Arrows striker.
Gabuza had another chance when the ball fell at his feet after Mohamed Awal headed the ball against his own arm, but the striker's snap-shot was smothered by Walters.
Orlando Smeeks then had a good chance to give the Team of Choice the lead when he ran onto Walters' goal-kick but failed to lob Meyiwa, who was in no-man's land.
Senzo Meyiwa had to be strong in the save to deny Heinrich Isaacks after a direct run towards goal and powerful shot, before Gabuza was presented with another chance astThe ball falls fortuitously into his path, but he blazed over under pressure from Rheece Evans.
The game looked destined for 0-0 as Pirates probed without creating any clear chances until Pelembe pounced there minutes from time.
Gabuza found space on the right side of the area before squaring the ball to the Mozambican, who calmly steered the ball into the far right corner to hand the Buccaneers the points.
The result sees Pirates move to fourth spot, above SuperSport United, who lost 2-0 at Ajax Cape Town on the night. Maritzburg remain in 12th place, 10 points clear of the relegation play-off spot.