Mpumalanga Black Aces’s determination to stay in the top eight in the Absa Premiership saw them upset Orlando Pirate 1-0 at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night. AmaZayoni were hosted by the Buccaneers, but there would be no generosity from the visitors. The teams had a timid start with not much action going on as the ball kept on moving through the midfield.
A great opportunity accompanied by a great touch proved to be unlucky for Tendai Ndoro who hit the post and the ball bounced right into the hands of Fatau Dauda in the first 12 minutes of the game. 20 minutes into the match a free kick was awarded to the hosts but the clearance saw the ball bouncing back into play and away from their goal post. Tlou Segolela finally shook the Aces defence but AmaZayoni were unshaken as they cleared the ball back to midfield in the 24th minute.
Ndoro yet again had a chance for Clive Barker’s side but Dauda was already waiting and punched the ball away in the 37th minute. Segolela again missed the mark as the ball went wide of the goal posts minutes later. Both teams headed to the lockers goalless come half time.
In the second half both teams started to show their fighting spirit by going on the offence. 54 minutes in and it started raining which came as a challenge, particularly to Aces who employ a passing game. On 65 minutes, Lehlohonolo Majoro was substituted by Lennox Bacela and a minute later Onyekachi Okonkwo was replaced by Thulasizwe Mbuyane.
Finally the super sub Mbuyane opened the scoring for Aces through a set piece. He managed to squeeze the ball through the wall and into the net in the 80th minute. Helde Pelembe substituted Sifiso Myeni in the 81st minute, but that was not enough for the Sea Robbers to make a comeback. Looks of horror and disbelieve were seen on the faces of supporters as the final whistle was blown but Black Aces won fair and square against Vladimir Vermezovic’s side by a goal to none.