Two goals in two minutes for Orlando Pirates secured a 2-1 comeback over Sekhukhune United in a 2021/22 DStv Premiership match at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Victory moved the Buccaneers up to sixth spot on the league standings, level on 14 points with fifth-placed Babina Noko, and five points behind the leaders after nine matches.
Pirates dominated both possession and territory for most of the encounter but initially struggled to break down a well-drilled Sekhukhune defensive line.
Nyiko Mobbie almost directed his attempted clearance into the back of his own net following relentless Pirates pressure in the 24th minute, but the in-form Toaster Nsabata made the first of a catalogue of highlight-reel saves to spare his teammate’s blushes.
Having weathered the early storm successfully, Babina Noko hit the hosts with a goal against the run of play in the 41st minute. Brandon Parusnath played a neat one-two with Tshediso Patjie before bursting into the box and finishing with aplomb, to give the visitors a narrow lead at the interval.
Nsabata had to be at his best in the 74th minute to keep out Terrence Dzvukamanja’s acrobatic effort with a wonderful diving save, but Pirates finally broke the shackles two minutes later when Ryan de Jongh was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area.
Linda Mntambo duly stepped up to the spot and successfully beat Nsabata.
The Zambian shot-stopper could do little to deny Pirates a second moments later. After Sekhukhune had failed to clear their lines following another Pirates attack, Kabelo Dlamini stepped up with a curling shot from range which bulged the back of the Babina Noko net.
Dzvukamanja came close to putting the game to bed in stoppage-time, but was unlucky to watch his effort canon off the crossbar and away from danger. It mattered little though as the Soweto giants had done enough to return to winning ways.
Orlando Pirates (0) 2 (Mntambo pen. 76′ Dlamini 77′)
Sekhukhune United (1) 1 (Parusnath 41′)
Orlando Pirates: Mpontshane; Mako, Ndah (Mngonyama 70′), Hlatshwayo, Shandu (Dzvukamanja 58′), Mabaso, Makaringe, Makgaka (Dlamini 58′), Hotto, Mntambo (Monare 84′), Mabasa (Peprah 58′).
Sekhukhune United: Nsabata; Jampies, Motsepe, Gyimah, Mobbie, Katsande (De Jongh 67′), Leepile (Rakhale 79′), Parusnath (Nxumalo 56′), Mncube (Matona 67′), Patjie, Ohizu (Sithole 67′).