Pirates snatch late win
Posted: 8 April 2009 Time: 22:08
Orlando Pirates needed a late Lucas Thwala header to secure a hard-fought 2-1 win against Maritzburg United at Woodburn Stadium.
The Team of Choice are basically guaranteed of another season in the top-flight as they are currently in 12th place on the log, three clear of the danger zone. With that fact in mind, they looked a relaxed bunch and attacked with gusto and flair, while Pirates continually on the back-foot for the opening 20 minutes.
The Buccaneers only came to life after they were scared into action in the 20th minute after a John Arwuah shot narrowly missed the target.
Pirates responded immediately in the 22nd minute with a goal from Moses Mbuyane. Michel Babale was definitely to blame as he failed to collect an inswinging cross. A goal-mouth scramble ensued and Mbuyane pounced on the loose ball and fired home.
Despite going behind, Maritzburg continued to press forward and almost found the equaliser in the 36th minute through Fadlu Davids’ header. But Moeneeb Josephs showed his brilliance, diving full stretch to his right to magnificently deny the United striker.
Pirates were definitely the more attacking of the two sides in the second half, but it was from no lack of trying by Maritzburg.
Gordon Igesund’s side’s problems were further compounded when they were reduced to 10 men in the 77th minute when Fanyana Dhladhla was shown his second yellow card.
Then, against the run of play, in a rare foray forward, they were given a lifeline in the 87th minute when the referee awarded a penalty. Dikilu Bageta coolly stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to draw his side level.
However, just as United thought they had salvaged a point, Pirates scored their second a minute from time to snatch the victory. A corner-kick from the right found Lucas Thwala unmarked at the back post and he headed home powerfully to give his side the three points.