Bucs do their bit, but …
Posted: 9 May 2009 Time: 16:53
Orlando Pirates did what was required of them by beating AmaZulu 3-1 at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday – but SuperSport United’s goalless draw with Santos meant Bucs still only finished runners-up in the Absa Premiership.
Going into the final round of games for the season, the Soweto giants needed to beat Usuthu and hope the Capetonians could get the better of Matsatsantsa, but it was not to be.
Pirates opened the scoring as early as the tenth minute when Mbuyane ran onto Rooi Mahamutsa’s long-ball and lobbed Kalililo Kakonje in goal.
However, this came after Usuthu striker Brad Ritson had three opportunities to score first – the final chance coming when he beat the offside trap to go one-on-one with Moeneeb Josephs, and then looked on as his shot hit the inside of the post and bounced to safety.
On 23 minutes Teko Modise’s free-kick was tipped around the post, and from the resultant corner Katlego Mashego doubled Bucs’ lead – volleying home after Kakonje had punched the ball into his path.
But straight from kick-off AmaZulu were back in the game. A long ball from the right into the area seemed harmless enough, but Josephs misjudged his jump, allowing Ritson to sneak in and head into an unguarded net.
Mashego was running the show in the first half and almost added another to his name but, after breaking through the defence and into the area, he was robbed of the ball just as he was about to pull the trigger.
Soon after Usuthu missed a glorious chance when Petros Zwane headed Gumede’s cross wide from six yards out – and they were made to pay when Pirates netted their third. A great move saw Dikgang Mabalane sprint down the right before passing inside from Mashego, whose square-ball was turned in by Mbuyane.
The start of the second half was a scrappy affair as most of the action was confined to the middle of the park. But just past the hour-mark AmaZulu should have pulled one back as Ritson was set up by Thabo Mabaso, but then volleyed over from right in front of goals.
In fact, the KZN side had the better of the opportunities – Bafo Biyela firing inches over from 30 yards out with a rasping drive that had Josephs well beaten.
Five minutes from time Modise had Bucs’ first shot on target of the second half; a stinging drive from the left edge of the area that stung Kakonje’s fingertips, before Siphelele Mthembu set up the Bafana Bafana playmaker, who fired over with his left foot.
There were to be no more goals and, with the game in Stellenbosch finishing 0-0, it proved a winning, but ultimately sad end to the season for Pirates.