Absa Premiership: United stun Bucs away from home
Orlando Pirates started the new-year awful when they were beaten by Supersport United 2-1 at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The win takes Supersport United to fourth on the log with 23 points from fourteen matches, while Orlando Pirates remain 11th on the log sixteen points from nine matches.
Second-half goals from lanky Senegalese striker Mame Niang and debutant Dino Ndlovu were enough to hand the Pretoria-based side maximum points. The Buccaneers had plenty of chances throughout the match but the squandered them before Happy Jele scored a consolation goal in the dying minutes.
Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa started with Kermit Erasmus up front and let Oupa Manyisa to play in his latest role behind the striker. Supersport United on the other side gave the new signing from Ajax Cape Town Lebohang Manyama his debut while another arrival at the club Dino Ndlovu settled for the bench.
The home side won much of the possession in the first fifteen minutes, with former Supersport United striker Kermit Erasmus causing havoc for his former side.
The first chance of the match fell to Orlando Pirates when winger Sifiso Myeni crossed from the right hand side with Daine Klate heading the ball back from the far post but none of his teammates were there to finish and Supersport United cleared the danger in the 16th minutes.
Two minutes later the Buccaneers came threatening again when Andile Jali put Kermit Erasmus clear on goal, but the striker didn’t take his time to pick the spot and shot wide of the mark. Just few moments later Daine Klate found Sifiso Myeni in the area unmarked, and the winger controlled the ball well before firing a left footed shot that Ronwen Williams was happy to turn out for a corner.
The visitors were not competitive as they were expected to be, and they lost possession easily in the middle of the park. Orlando Pirates continued to pile pressure on United, and they almost opened the scoring again just after the half-hour mark when Andile Jali had a go from range only for Williams to show great reflexes by pushing the ball out for a corner with only a single hand.
Supersport United were forced to make a change in the 35th minute after Edwin Gyimah picked up a knock and he was replaced by youngster Morne Nel. Ronwen Williams made sure his side does not go to the break trailing when he made a fine block to deny Daine Klate from close range after left winger pounced on a loose ball with two minutes left on the clock before the interval.
But that wasn’t the last chance of the opening half as Kermit Erasmus almost punished his former side in the stroke half-time only to be denied by the cross bar with Ronwen Williams rooted to the spot as both side went to the break deadlocked at 0-0.
The hosts started where they left off in the second half, posing a threat in the United territory early on from the restart. But it was Supersport United who took the lead with their first attempt on goal when Bennett Chenene’s cross found second-half substitute Mame Niang who saw his header come off the post before slotting the ball below Meyiwa and into net from the rebound ten minutes after the break, 1-0.
Orlando Pirates almost equalised three minutes later when Oupa Manyisa unleashed a right footed shot from the edge of the area but the ball sailed just narrowly over the bar. Then in the 65th minute Thandanani Ntshumayelo tried his luck from 25-yards out but his low shot went inches wide of the mark.
The visitors then made the game safe when they scored an insurance goal three minutes later when left-back Sibusiso Khumalo’s floating cross in the area was headed in by debutant Dino Ndlovu with Senzo Meyiwa rooted to the spot, 2-0.
Orlando Pirates coach introduced new Mozambique born striker Helder Pelembe before sending on club top goal scorer Lennox bacela midway through the second-half as the Buccaneers looked for a way back into the match.
Lennox Bacela should have pulled one back when he headed wide Oupa Manyisa’s cross before Daine Klate first time shot in the far post went over the bar after a clever cross by Khetokwakhe Masuku in the 85th minute.
The hosts finally scored in the optional time when Mor Diouf’s clearance hit Happy Jele and into the net in what was a more of a consolation goal for the Buccaneers who suffers their third league loss at home this season.
Orlando Pirates: Meyiwa, Jele, Lekgwathi, Gcaba, Matlaba, Jali, Ntshumayelo (Pelembe 56’), Manyisa, Klate, Myeni (Masuku 78’), Erasmus ( Bacela 72’).
Supersport United: Williams, Khumalo, Fransman, Diouf (Nel 35’), Aupa, Gyima, Mkhabela, Mathebula (Niang 45), Manyama, Chenene (Ndlovu 55’), Grobler.