Pirates pip Chippa in Orlando

Thamsanqa Gabuza's first half goal was enough to see out the Buccaneers' first victory in new coach Micho Sredojevic's maiden outing at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.

Bucs showed early impetus and could have been a goal ahead in as early as the seventh minute, when enterprising play up front found Mpho Makola through on goal with only Brighton Mhlongo to beat, but the ex-Bucs shot-stopper came out tops.

Chippa had their first real chance on the half-hour mark as Wayne Sandilands had to rush off his line to swiftly block out Moeketsi Sekola, who had broken through on goal. 

The hosts eventually broke the deadlock through Gabuza, who headed home from close range after great work by Innocent Maela down the left flank in the 37th minute.

They could have doubled their lead before the break but a counter-attack lost momentum when Thabo Qalinge's pass was placed slightly behind Makola, although the latter picked out Musa Nyatama outside the box and the resultant shot was off target.

The second half was a scrappy affair as the visitors went in search of an equaliser, but were let down by their decision-making in the final third.

Chippa waited all of 80 minutes before registering their first shot on target, with substitute Mark Mayambela's free-kick whipped in towards goal and forcing Sandilands to parry the effort out for a corner.

The new-look defence, though, held firm and registered a clean sheet while ensuring they bag three crucial points to get off on the right foot this season.

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