City hands Bucs second successive defeat
Polokwane City handed Orlando Pirates their second loss on the trot when they beat them 1-0 in the Absa Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Sipho Jembula netted in the 28th minute and his strike was enough to win it for the struggling side and moved them further away from relegation in the 11th position with 19 points from 18 matches. While Orlando Pirates, who loses for the second time in successive weeks, remain 7th on the log with 23 points from 14 matches.
The match started in a slow pace in the sunny weather, but Orlando Pirates, who made five changes to the side that was beaten 1-0 by Mamelodi Sundowns last week, starting with Ghanaian goalkeeper Fatau Dauda, and brought back Lennox Bacela, Thandanani Ntshumayelo, Kermit Erasmus, and Aubrey Ngoma to the starting line-up, had chances to score inside opening twenty minutes.
Their first chance was from a free-kick they won in the good area after the quarter-hour mark, Khetokhwakhe Masuku lobbed the ball for Thabo Matlaba inside the area, but the defender shot over the bar from close range, before Kermit Erasmus shot whisker wide of the mark unmarked from a point blank-range three minutes later.
Polokwane City were next to threaten in the 20th minutes when Jabu Maluleke saw his shot blocked by sliding Ayanda Gcaba, before Galabgwe Moyana’s long range free-kick was kept out by Fatau Dauda few minutes later.
The home side opened the scoring in the 28th minutes when a defensive blunder by Orlando Pirates saw Sipho Njabula slot the ball in an empty net after Thabo Matlaba and his goalkeeper Fatau Dauda failed to clear the ball and collided to leave the ball loose, 1-0.
The Rise and Shine of Limpopo almost extended their lead nine minutes from the break when their goal scorer on the day Sipho Njabula make a run on the right and hit a first-time shot on target but Fatau Dauda made a great save by parrying the ball for a corner-kick to keep his side in the game.
The visitors almost went to the break levelled when Polokwane City defender Tlou Molekwane almost scored an own goal when his poor clearance looked destined for the back of the net but Modiri Marumo made a great fist to the ball to spare his teammate from blushes and concede a corner in the second minute of first-half stoppage time.
Polokwane City won two free-kicks just outside the area inside ten opening minutes of the second-stanza, but they wasted both of them as Jabu Maluleke hit the first one straight to the mall in the 47th minute, before Galabgwe Moyana saw his set-piece sail over the bar five minutes later.
Then the host wasted a golden opportunity to kill the tie off in the hour-mark when Puleng Tlolane was set clear on goal by a through pass from Esau Kanyenda but the striker saw his lob ball over advancing Fatau Dauda go inches wide of the post. Then Kermit Erasmus saw his shot from 12 yards out go over the bar after a flick on by Helder Pelembe in five minutes later.
The visitors came close to equalising again in the 72nd minute when Kermit Erasmus showed a great composure just outside the area but the former SuperSport United marksman saw his left-footed strike go wide of the mark as they searched for the equalising goal. In the 85th minutes, the referee booked Helder Pelember for simulation even though there was a contact from Polokwane City defender.
Orlando Pirates threw the numbers forward to get a last minute leveller and nothing worked for them, instead, Polokwane City almost finished the match in style when Thabo Rakhale lost his marker just outside area to have only goalkeeper to beat but Fatau Dauda raced off his line to make a fine block as the Rise and Shine of Polokwane City registered their 5th win of the season.
Polokwane City: Marumo, Molekwane, Mngqibisa, Mthimkhulu, Lichaba, Jembula (Rakhale 80’), Sibande, Maluleke, Moyana (Molala 84’), Kanyenda © (Nzimade 89’), Tlolane.
Orlando Pirates: Dauda, Jele, Matlaba, Gcaba, Lekgwathi ©, Manyisa, Masuku (Myeni 81’), Ngoma (Malongaone 57’), Ntshumayelo, Bacela (Pelembe 62’), Erasmus.