Orlando Pirates put on their best display of the season thus far, defeating Chippa United 3-1 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday to go top of the DStv Premiership.
Coming from a goal down, the Buccaneers claimed victory thanks to three superbly executed strikes from Tshegofatso Mabasa, Abel Mabaso and Goodman Mosele. The Soweto side tops the standings on eight points, one ahead of champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Chilli Boys, who opened the scoring through Phakamani Mahlambi, drop to 10th on goal difference after a second successive league defeat.
Chippa started brightly and were rewarded with a goal in the 12th minute: Thokozani Sekotlong played a fine pass to put Mahlambi into space down the left and the attacker was able to drive into the penalty before coming up against Happy Jele – his low shot rebounded off the legs of the defender, back onto his own and then snuck past goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane at the near post.
Pirates gradually began to find an attacking rhythm around the midway point of the first half and were able to level the game on 29 minutes, with Vincent Pule’s tame shot well controlled by Mabasa, who then turned smartly and provided a finish past goalkeeper Ismail Watenga to make it 1-1.
Chippa should have reclaimed the lead on 43 minutes, with Sekotlong doing well to beat Mpontshane to a lobbed through ball and sending a looping effort toward goal – Thulani Hlatshwayo was on hand to prevent a goal but gifted the ball straight back to Mahlambi, who then shot wide from close range.
Sekotlong continued to be a thorn in the side of the away side’s defence and had the last notable attacking moment of the first half, shooting on the turn from the edge of the box in injury time, with his effort flicked just over the target by the head of teammate Mogakolodi Ngele to leave the game at 1-1 at the interval.
The Buccaneers strengthened their attack with the introduction of Terrence Dzvukamanja at the start of the second half, while Deon Hotto came off the bench a few minutes before the hour mark to offer a new sense of creativity.
Pirates almost immediately scored a beautiful counter attacking goal, with Pule stealing the ball on the edge of his own box and sparking a brilliant attacking move which ended with Bandile Shandu’s low cross being turned home at close range by Abel Mabaso for 2-1 in the 59th minute.
The Chilli Boys looked for a way back into the game and threw on the likes of Bienvenu Eva Nga and Kurt Lentjies, but Bucs extended their lead in the 79th minute through another outstanding goal: Mabaso played a perfectly-weighted first time pass from midfield to find the run of Goodman Mosele, who easily swept the ball past Watenga for 3-1 to seal a full haul of points.
The teams will be back in DStv Premiership action next weekend, with Pirates at home to Mamelodi Sundowns on the afternoon of Saturday 25 September and Chippa visiting Stellenbosch FC later the same day.
Chippa United (1) 1 (Mahlambi 12’)Orlando Pirates (1) 3 (Mabasa 29’, Mabaso 59’, Mosele 79’)TEAMS:
Chippa United:Watenga, Mdunyelwa, Mthethwa, Haukongo, Hanamub, Lebitso, Seabi, Mkhize (Lentjies 77’), Mahlambi (Eva Nga 66’), Sekotlong (Jodwana 68’), Ngele (P. Maloisane 77’)
Orlando Pirates: Mpontshane, Shandu (Nyauza 82’), Hlatshwayo, Jele, Mako, Makhubela (Hotto 57’), Mabaso (Motshwari 81’), Mosele, Pule, Dlamini (Dzvukamanja 46’), Mabasa (Peprah 86’)
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