Pirates finally ended their league duck with a convincing win

Pirates finally ended their league duck with a convincing win

Pirates finally ended their league duck with a convincing win over a nine men Maritzburg at Orlando Stadium.

Orlando Pirates were second best for large parts of the game against Maritzburg United on Tuesday night, but still managed to secure a 2-0 victory at the Orlando Stadium to end a run of 12 winless matches in the league.

The victory was a first one in the Absa Premiership for head coach Kjell Jonevret and came on a day which marked the memorial of the 43 supporters killed at a Soweto derby at Ellis Park in 2001.

The visiting side, who ended the match with nine men after two red cards, could make a case for having played the better football on the night, but they were let down by poor finishing in front of goal, ill-discipline and some excellent defending by Pirates.

Both teams started the game with purpose although it was the home side who looked more dangerous and they took the lead in the 14th minute, when Ayanda Gcaba out-jumped goalkeeper Virgil Vries and defender Brian Onyango to power in a header from Oupa Manyisa’s well taken corner.

The remainder of the half saw the KZN side pushing and probing for a way back into the game, and chances were created. But Evans Rusike’s 23rd minute free kick veered narrowly wide before Onyango headed over from a corner 10 minutes later.

The best opportunity for Maritzburg came in the 37th minute when Lebohang Maboe’s lovely through-ball put Bandile Sandu in on goal, but Bucs keeper Siyabonga Mpontshane did well to rush off his line and block the volley. A powerful strike just before half time from Maboe nearly caught Mpontshane off guard, but he was able to catch the ball at the second attempt.

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After Shandu had come close to prising open the Buccaneers defence just after half time, Ndoro was to have two chances in quick succession to extend the Soweto team’s lead, but he blazed over the bar with only Vries to beat and then had a shot comfortably held by the Team of Choice keeper.

Maritzburg’s task of getting something out of the game became much more difficult on the hour mark when they were reduced to 10 men after Onyango received a second yellow card for a reckless and completely needless foul on Ndoro on the half way line.

Despite the numerical setback, United were to outplay their opponents and continued to press for an equaliser. But again their finishing let them down with Maboe wasting two opportunities to score.

Instead Pirates increased their lead 11 minutes from time, when Dove Wome played a lovely one-two with Ndoro before finishing emphatically.

Things went from bad to worse for the Pietermaritzburg side after Deolin Mekoa was also sent for an early shower after two yellow cards in quick succession seven minutes from time.

It was by no means a totally convincing overall performance from the Sea Robbers, but the defence did a good job on the night and coming after their excellent Nedbank Cup win on Saturday against Free State Stars, Jonevret will be hoping that the tide is starting to turn.

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