Nyatama & Qalinge seal victory for Bucs
Posted: 15 April 2018 Time: 13:22
Orlando Pirates came from behind to grab a 2-1 win over AmaZulu to keep their title hopes alive in the Absa Premiership.
Usuthu took the first initiative in the opening two minutes. Siyethemba Mnguni, returning from suspension, looked to punish the visitors following a scuffed clearance but sent his shot wide.
It didn’t take them long to find the opener after Mabhuti Khenyeza tapped home a cross by Ovidy Karuru following a counter-attack on 11 minutes.
Bucs struggled with the ferocious pressing from the KZN side, who nearly made it two but Khenyeza fumbled his shot off target.
Great combination play involving Siyabonga Nomvethe brought in Butholezwe Ncube, who struck the side-netting with Bucs hanging on.
The opportunity the Soweto giants got in breaking forward was telling as Thembinkosi Lorch was brought down outside the box by Siyabonga Mbatha for a free-kick.
That led to the equaliser which was converted by Musa Nyatama through a glancing header off the delivery by Luvuyo Memela on 32 minutes.
The top eight-chasing AmaZulu quickly looked to regain the lead in the closing stages of the first half but went to the tunnel at 1-1.
Both sides went at each other’s throats in the second period, with neither content to sit for a draw in Umlazi.
It was Bucs, though, who looked more threatening whenever they got on the ball, but were let down up front after poor efforts from Mulenga and Memela.
The best chance saw Memela fail to capitalise after good work from Justin Shonga played him in with Mbatha caught napping, but he shot directly at the goalkeeper at the midway point of the second period.
The home side took time to get forward and their patience nearly paid off after Mnguni brought the best out of Siyabonga Mpontshane, who pulled off a quick reaction save.
Mbatha thwarted Bucs once more after pulling off a one-handed save to stop Shonga from finding the bottom-corner on 73 minutes.
There was nothing he could to prevent substitute Thabo Qalinge from blasting home the winner for Bucs following a cross from the left that fell perfectly on his path on 80 minutes as the Soweto giants returned to winning ways.
Coach: Clinton Larsen
AWAY: Orlando Pirates
Coach: Milutin Sredojevic