Bucs March On
16 August 2011
Date: 16 August 2011
Result: Orlando Pirates 1-0 Platinum Stars
Venue: Orlando Stadium
Referee: Harry Lekitlane
A second-half Ndumiso Mabena header saw Orlando Pirates shade a plucky Platinum Stars 1-0 at the Orlando Stadium this evening.
The Sea Robbers wasted little time in putting the heat on their visitors on a bitterly cold Johannesburg night with Thulasizwe Mbuyane unable to keep his header below the crossbar after great work on the flank from Daine Klaite inside five minutes. Mbhuyiselo Sambu saw a similiar effort go into the stands at the other a few minutes later.
Kalte curled a speculative strike into the side netting from a free-kick just outside the area as Pirates continued to pile on the pressure. Henrico Botes and Bongani Ndulula traded strikes, making both keepers pull of acrobatics.
Thuso Phala was close to giving Stars the lead in the 20th minute with a shot across the face of Moeneeb Josephs goal from a tight angle after some lazy defending from Pirates. The tug-of-war continued when Klate was put through by an adventurous Lucky Lekgwathi but the Port Elizabeth-born forward could not convert.
Phala was proving to be a thorn in the Bucanneers' sides as the former Sundowns man threatened whenever he had possession in a game that was proceeding at breakneck pace. Klate was matching his Stars counterpart for verve and industry and was unlucky not get on the scoresheet - by the half-time whistle Pirates had garnered 60 per cent of possession but notched up just three shots on target.
It didn't look like the scoreline was about to change as Pirates continued their trend of wasting possession. Lekgwathi, Sangweni and Klate had shots in quick succession with no end result. Inevitably, Benni McCarthy was thrown into the fray, but it was another substitute Ndumiso Mabena, who got the opener for the Bucanneers 20 minutes into the new half. Mabena raced ahead of a static defence to head a Happy Jele free-kick past Mabokgwane for his first goal of the season.
Pirates were pushing hard for a second and the expectation that it would be Benni to score was hanging thick in the air. Mabena could have fed the veteran but selfishly chose to blaze the ball over from a tight angle in the 75th minute.
Tlou Segolela made his presence felt a couple of minutes later, displaying superb control to bring down a high ball and smash a snap-shot over the crossbar.
Benni almost got his second goal in as many games with a fierce, low 82nd minute free-kick that swerved around the Dikwena wall and proved too hot for Mabokgwane to handle. The former Sundowns gloveman smothered it at the second bite.
Pirates survived an 89th minute Bradley Grobler free-kick that sneaked through the wall and was deflected narrowly wide to end the second round of the PSL with a full house of points.
Orlando Pirates: Josephs, Thwala, Lekgwathi, Jele, Sangweni, Segolela, Jali, Manyisa, Ndulula (McCarthy 60'), Mbuyane, Klate (Mabena 60')
Platinum Stars: Mabokgwane, Nkosi, Malongoane, Ngwepe, Phalane, Sambu, Phala, Mathe, Mkhabela (Grobler 72'), Thebakang, Botes (Mandaza 52')
Goal: Ndumiso Mabena 65' (Pirates)