Bucs jump to second spot
Posted: 3 February 2018 Time: 12:39
Orlando Pirates survived a late scare from Maritzburg United to come away with a 2-1 victory in the Absa Premiership.
The Buccaneers were looking to bounce back from their midweek slump at the hands of Ajax Cape Town in the battle between fifth and sixth.
They settled the quickest into the game, which got off to a flying start with both sides going with space at one another.
The Team of Choice resorted to a counterattacking approach with a five man wall as the Sea Robbers found it difficult to penetrate their defence.
Zambian Justin Shonga tried to give Milutin Sredojevic’s side the early lead, but he shot tamely at Richard Ofori.
The small Orlando crowd soon had something cheer when Thabiso Kutumela curled in an outrageous free-kick that give Ofori no chance on the half and hour mark.
Bucs were all over the visitors who struggled to focus, while Kutumela nearly found his brace after a cross by Luvuyo Memela with Ofori scrambling to keep it out of goal.
They found their second after the break when Happy Jele rose highest to head home Memela’s corner kick.
It nearly got worse for the visitors after Memela connected with Shonga’s pass but saw his cross-cum shot hitting the post.
They nearly pulled one back through Bandile Shandu, but his shot cannoned off the left hand post of Jackson Mabokgwane’s goal.
Bucs handed a debut to new signing Xola Mlambo, while Fadlu Davids brought on William Twala who joined on-loan from Kaizer Chiefs this week.
Mariztburg were once again denied by the post after Lebogang Maboe tried to reduce the deficit from a free-kick.
They weren’t denied though in the 74th minute when Siyanda Xulu headed home to finally reduce the deficit and force Bucs on tenterhooks.
They hit the woodwork for the third time in the match through Deolin Mekoa on the left hand side in added time.
However, the Soweto giants held on for the three points to move into the second spot ahead of Free State Stars.
HOME: Orlando Pirates
Coach: Milutin Sredojevic
AWAY: Maritzburg United
Coach: Fadlu Davids