Orlando Pirates beat Chippa United on Saturday to record back-to-back wins that saw them briefly move to the top of the DStv Premiership table.
JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates recorded back-to-back wins in a week after putting Chippa United to the sword with an emphatic 3-1 victory in a DStv Premiership encounter at a cool Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqebera on Saturday afternoon.
Pirates had a slow start to the campaign, drawing two games and losing one, but they turned their campaign around last weekend, winning against Swallows FC at home. They built on from that winning momentum in the Windy City.
Credit should go to their midfield partnership – of Abel Mabaso and Goodman Mosele – as they are making them tick with patient build-up plays. Chippa, meanwhile, will probably be rueing the chances they missed in the first half.
The two teams came in this game on the back of contrasting results: Pirates registered their first win of the season against Swallows FC at home on Saturday, while Chippa suffered their first defeat away to new kids on the block Royal AM.
As a result of that win, Pirates’ caretaker coaches Fadlu Davids made only one change to last weekend’s team, with Tshegofatso Mabasa coming on for Deon Hotto. Mabasa came off the bench to score the winner against the Dube Birds.
Gavin Hunt, meanwhile, made five changes to the team that lost to Royal AM away. Those changes nearly made an instant impact for the Chilli Boys as Kabelo Dlamini was deposed just in front of his box by midfielder Siphesihle Mkhize.
The resultant scramble saw the loose ball land in the path of Thokozani Sekotlong who shot straight at Siyabonga Mpontshane who saved with ease. But Pirates responded with forays into the Chilli Boys’ final third, soon thereafter.
But the home side responded with a scintillating counter-attack that ripped Pirates apart. Sekotlong received a weighted pass from the engine room before setting free Phakamani Mahlambi who raced towards goal before slotting home.
Pirates didn’t drop their heads, though. They responded with a couple of constructive passes which were orchestrated by Goodman Mosele, the former Baroka FC player who’s gradually setting in nicely in the team with every match-day.
Pirates’ efforts finally paid dividends before the half-an-hour mark. Bandile Shandu found Vincent Pule with a diagonal ball in front of the box. Pule unleashed a hard and high shot that Mabasa trapped before turning to slot past Rashid Watenga.
Pirates continued to dominate possession but it was the Chilli Boys who should have gone to the break ahead. Mahlambi missed a sitter, though, after putting his shot wide following a poor clearance from defender Thulani Hlatshwayo.
That miss came after Sekotlong was again a nuisance for Pirates’ defence. Sekotlong got at the end of a weighted through ball from the midfield before beating Siyabonga Mpontshane on a one-on-one duel, forcing Hlatshwayo to clear.
Pirates, though, started with more vigour in the second half. As a result, they pulled off a great team goal before the hour mark. Substitute Terrence Dzvukamanja found Shandu who put through Abel Mabaso who pounced past Watenga.
But the Bucs were not done as they established the victory with another team goal. Mabaso turned provider after putting through Mosele with a weighted pass. The Under-23 international picked his spot and rattled the ball past Watenga.