Mamelodi Sundowns defeated Orlando Pirates by 2-1 in the Absa Premiership match played at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Wednesday night. Both teams started the match positively determined to get onto the score sheet with Pirates receiving a first throw in. Leonardo Castro failed to deliver a cross on the far side following a good pass from Khama Billiat in the sixth minute.
Thabo Rhakale failed to control the ball in the box after a quick one-two with Sifiso Myeni in the 14th minute. Castro opened the scoring for Sudowns after a beautiful “champagne” pass into the box from Billiat who received a ball from Keegan Dolly 19 minutes into the first half. Brighton Mhlongo made a great save following Billiat’s header in the 24th minute to deny an extension of the lead.
Thamsanqa Gabuza failed to connect with Patrick Phungwayo’s cross in the box from the far side leaving the ball to go out for a goal kick in the 28th minute. Mhlongo made a save after finding himself one-on-one with Dolly in the 37th minute punching the ball away to Billiat who took a shot from the hip to make it two for the Brazilians. Mpho Makola failed to make contact with Rakhale’s cut back pass into the box just before half-time.
The home side started the second stanza attacking receiving a corner kick early into the half but Denis Onyango dealt with it. Moments later, the Ugandan goalkeeper received a yellow card for time wasting. Ayanda Gcaba was shown a yellow card on the hour mark after bringing down Siyanda Zwane on the near side next to the corner flag. Mhlongo made a great save following Themba Zwane’s shot on target 65 minutes in.
Makola pulled one back for the Buccaneers following a beautiful shot from a free kick in the 71st minute. Gabuza failed to connect his header with Makola’s cross in the box to equalise with just under 15 minutes to go. The Sea Robbers received a free kick just outside the box after Thabo Nthethe received a yellow card following a foul on Lehlohonolo Majoro in the 88th minute but the visitors dealt with the set piece.
Eric Tinkler’s troops continued searching for an equaliser but it was the Pretoria side that walked away with the three points at Orlando Stadium.
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