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GOLDEN ARROWS 1
0 ORLANDO PIRATES
Competition: Absa Premiership
Date: Saturday, 30 August 2008
Venue: Chatsworth Stadium
Golden Arrows captain, Kagisho Dikgacoi had mixed fortunes on the opening day of the Absa Premiership when he led his side to a deserved 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates at Umlazi’s King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.
The Bafana Bafana midfield anchorman returned last week from a trial at English Premiership club Fulham. He apparently impressed the London club but as he did not have enough international caps he was not able to get a work permit to play in England.
But he led by example and scored the only goal in the 22nd minute and the well built midfielder could have sewn up the match but for a 66th minute penalty save by Bucs keeper Moeneeb Josephs.
Arrows, who led 1-0 at the break, were well on top in the first half. They were the more positive and aggressive side. Pirates were a big disappointment. They did not have a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes. Arrows goalkeeper Brenden Wardle had little to do against a Pirates attack that lacked punch and imagination.
Their best effort in the first half came form a 20-metre rocket from Teko Modise that flew over the crossbar in the 39th minute.
Pirates’ passing was sloppy and new coach Ruud Krol will have to go back to the drawing board and sort out his players if they are to compete for honours this season.
Bucs skipper Lehlohonolo Seema almost scored a spectacular own goal in the 21st minute after a bad misunderstanding and lack of communication with his goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs. The Lesotho international played a free kick back to Josephs who was not ready and the new Bucs keeper was forced to sprint and boot the ball off his goalline.
A minute later Joseph did well to save from Philani Shange at the expense of a corner, but from the set piece taken by Richard Henyekane, Dikgacoi was given a free header and made no mistake to put the home side 1-0 ahead.
But if Wardle had an easy first half, he was into the thick of the action at the start of the second 45 minutes when he brilliantly denied Benson Mhlongo an equaliser with a one handed save after a pin point Modise free kick found the tall Mhlongo lurking at the far post.
Another mistake from Seema in the 48th minute allowed Arrows’ Italo dos Santos to break clear but the Brazilian shot wide when he had the Bucs’ goal at his mercy.
Then came the penalty by Dikgacoi which was well saved by Josephs. Referee Abdul Ibrahim ruled that Bucs Lindokuhle Mkhwanazi had brought down Dos Santos inside the Pirates penalty area.
The Arrows skipper hit his shot firmly but Josephs did his best to put the Arrows skipper off his shot and then guessed right and blocked the shot that would have sealed the Arrows win.
Bucs piled on the pressure and it took a brilliant match winning save from Wardle to deny Excellent Walaza with an equaliser from a powerful header 11 minutes from time.
Arrows never allowed Bucs to dominate and take control. It was not Pirates’ day as Mhlongo missed a chance to snatch an equaliser late into injury time.
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