Bucs hold on against 10-man Chippa


Goals in either half from Thamsanqa Gabuza and Thabo Matlaba rendered Paseka Mako’s 45th-minute goal as inconsequential in the tie, which Chippa ended a man down after Thamsanqa Sangweni picked up two yellow cards.

The result lifted Pirates into the top eight, above Golden Arrows on goal difference with five matches remaining this season, while Chippa finish the night just two points above the relegation zone.

Chippa were dealt a blow in the early minutes as Pentjie Zulu went down unchallenged, seemingly twisting his knee while stretching for the ball, with the midfielder needing to be substituted with nine minutes gone.

The Chilli Boys created the game’s first chance moments later, though, Andile Mbenyane controlling well in the area before unleashing a rasping drive which brought the best out of Siyabonga Mpontshane, who dived to his far-post to tip the ball behind.

The Bucs looked set to take the lead with 20 minutes gone as Issa Sarr came running in at the far post to meet a deep delivery that had gone over Zama Dlamini’s head, only for the midfielder to balloon his header high and wide of the mark.

With 29 minutes gone the Sea Robbers took the lead, and in spectacular fashion as Thabo Matlaba provided the delivery and Thamsanqa Gabuza provided the class with a wonderful overhead kick to sneak the ball in at the goalkeeper’s near post.

However, Chippa ensured they would head down the half-time tunnel level pegging as Paseka Mako broke through on goal before smartly slotting the ball through the legs of the on-rushing goalkeeper.

A tame second-half finally came to life with 52 minutes gone as some slick passing cut open the Chippa defence, with Gabuza set to cap off the move with a tap-in from a few feet out, only to somehow blaze over the crossbar to the dismay of the Ghost.

Pirates would eventually restore their lead with 65 minutes gone on the clock, Thabo Matlaba with a scorching effort from 25 yards which swerved all over the place and, despite the goalkeeper getting a touch, eventually ended up in the back of the net.

Makola had a chance to seal the win with around nine minutes remaining after breaking on the counter with just defender and goalkeeper to beat, but his shot was a weak one and Dlamini easily gathered.

Any chance Chippa had of getting something out the game were ended five minutes from time as they went down to 10 men, Sangweni, on his birthday, picking up a second booking and subsequent red card to head for an early shower.