Winning return for Pirates

Maritzburg United coach Clinton Larsen made five changes to the side that lost to Golden Arrows last weekend, with Ayanda Nkosi rewarded with a start following an impressive display against Abafana Bes’thende.

Former Buccaneer Michael Morton captained the Team of Choice.

Roger de Sa made three changes to the team that saw off SuperSport United to reach the Final of this season’s Telkom Knockout.

Lucky Lekgwathi, Aubrey Ngoma and Collins Mbesuma were all included in the starting XI.

Perfect footballing conditions along with a healthy crowd welcomed the two sides onto the pitch. The game was Bucs’ first in the Premiership since the Soweto Derby at the end of October.

In a quiet start to the match, both goalkeepers were almost untroubled in the early exchanges, as both sides opted to feel each other out.

But the visitors struck on 31 minutes, when Thabo Matlaba, who had been troubling the United defence down the left flank, made a powerful run up field before rolling the ball into the path of Mbesuma, who produced a sliding finish to put his team ahead.

United looked dangerous on occasion in the first half, but a lack of patience in the final third cost them dearly.

Chances were few as the second half kicked off, with most of the action taking place in the middle of the park.

The Team of Choice piled on the pressure in the final few minutes, with the Buccaneers defence looked tired, but they held on to secure their second win of the campaign.

The loss is United’s third on the trot, and they drop down to 10th on the log.

Pirates remain bottom of the table despite the win, but have only played four League matches.