|TEAM LINE UP|
Mbuyane (Mabena 90+2’)
Chenene (Mongala 88’)
ORLANDO PIRATES 1
0 GOLDEN ARROWS
Competition: Absa Premiership
Date: Sunday, 05 December 2009
Venue: Orlando Stadium
Orlando Pirates kept alive their Absa Premiership title hopes with a 1-0 win over Golden Arrows at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday evening. Katlego Mashego scored the winner for the Buccaneers.
The result sees Pirates move up to fourth place on the standings on 31 points, trailing third-place Santos only on goal difference, though the People’s Team do now have two games in hand.
For Arrows, it is yet another setback in a league campaign that has been very disappointing, especially in comparison to the form that swept them to the MTN8 cup title earlier this season.
Pirates dominated proceedings in the first half, enjoying the majority of possession and territory. Striker Katlego Mashego looked in a determined mood and very nearly opened the scoring on 15 minutes, cutting inside from the right flank and firing a shot just over the crossbar.
Two minutes later a defensive error from Arrows – which saw the ball run loose in the penalty area after goalkeeper Thulasizwe Khuzwayo had been drawn off his line – allowed Mashego to open the scoring and put the Buccaneers 1-0 up.
Abafana Bes’thende seemed to have drawn level on 32 minutes when Thamsanqa Gabuza fired a low shot into the bottom corner of the net, but the striker was somewhat harshly adjudged to have fouled defender Zvenyika Makonese.
While Khuzwayo may have been partly at fault for Pirates’ goal in the first half, he more than made up for his error with a string of excellent saves in the second stanza.
On 49 minutes the keeper tipped over a goal bound shot from Thulasizwe Mbuyane after the attacker had created some room for himself with a smart turn on the edge of the box.
Ten minutes later Khuzwayo moved quickly off his line to close down Bennett Chenene after the winger had surged into a gap in the Arrows defence, and he was soon called into action again, pawing away a close range effort from Mbuyane that almost crossed the goal line.
However, the Arrows goalie almost conceded a shocker in the 75th minute when he let a tame cross from Andile Jali slip right through his hands – luckily for Khuzwayo the ball drifted across the face of goal.
With ten minutes to go, the diminutive Chenene almost scored an unlikely header, with his effort skimming the top of the crossbar. Makonese then had a similar header hit the top of the crossbar from a corner kick just two minutes later.
Mashego should have killed off the game in the 86th minute when he found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but again Khuzwayo proved difficult to beat as he closed down the Pirates attacker well.
Orlando Pirates (1) 1 (Mashego 17’)
Golden Arrows 0
Pirates: (4-4-2) Meyiwa; Jele, Makonese, Mahamutsa, Lekgwathi; Mbuyane (Mabena 90+2’), Mdluli, Jali, Chenene (Mongala 88’); Schalkwyk, Mashego
Arrows: (4-4-2) Khuzwayo; Zwane, Bilankulu, Musonda, Tom; Manqana, Khuboni, Zothwane (Biyela 39’), J. Henyekane (Mashego 65’); Vilakazi (dos Santos 46’), Gabuza.
|TEAM LINE UP|
Zothwane (Biyela 39’)
J. Henyekane (Mashego 65’)
Vilakazi (dos Santos 46’)