Maritzburg batter below-par Bucs
Posted: 13 December 2016 Time: 17:58
Maritzburg United secured their first home league win of the season after a deserved 2-1 victory over Orlando Pirates at Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday.
Not much to report from the first half but there was one semi-controversial moment in the 26th minute when Mohau Mokate had a goal ruled out for offside, with replays indicating there was no daylight between the last defender and scorer. It was a 50/50 decision.
Other than that Bucs had the best chances as Happy Jele crashed a header against the crossbar from Mpho Makola's corner-kick with Bongani Mpandle nowhere, while Issa Sarr missed a sitter of a header from close range after he was beautifully picked out by Tendai Ndoro.
However, just three minutes into the second half the match came to life as centre-back Bevan Frasman ghosted in unmarked to sweep home from close range following a good cutback from the left by Deolin Mekoa.
Caretaker coach Augusto Palacios made all three of his substitutes before the hour-mark as he went all-out attack to pull a goal back, taking out Makola, Luvuyo Memela and Thabiso Kutumela for Mahlatsi Makudubela, Donald Mokondelela and Ayanda Nkosi.
But instead, with the shape of the team disrupted and any sort of structure not apparent to the naked eye, Bucs found themselves 2-0 down when Brian Onyango towered above Sarr at a corner-kick to power home a header, again from Mekoa's assist.
Pirates woke up in the last 10 minutes after substitute Nkosi thumped in a smashing goal from the edge of the area, right into the top-right corner to give Mpandle no chance, but it was too little too late.
Maritzburg missed two more glorious opportunities of their own as the impressive Mekoa hit the woodwork and Lebogang Maboe failed to chip Mhlongo when clean through on goal following a poor Sarr giveaway.
HOME: Maritzburg United
Coach: Fadlu Davids
AWAY: Orlando Pirates
Coach: Augusto Palacios