Sea Robbers Hammer Leopards
21 November 2012
Teams: Black Leopards 0-4 Orlando Pirates
Date: 21 November 2012
Venue: Peter Mokaba Stadium
Referee: Victor Hlungwani
Orlando Pirates trimmed Kaizer Chiefs' lead at the summit to four points with a 4-0 victory over Black Leopards in Polokwane on Wednesday night.
The Premiership champions cruised home via goals from Collins Mbesuma, Thandani Ntshumayelo, Daine Klate and Happy Jele at a wet Peter Mokaba Stadium.
In a goalless first half, the Sea Robbers threatened first, as ex-Bidvest Wits man Patrick Phungwayo drilled a shot over from range in the fifth minute.
Soon after, Samuel Mabunda did the same for the hosts.
Bucs, though, dictated the pace of the contest, with Oupa Manyisa testing Leopards goalkeeper Azwindini Maphaha in the 15th minute with a first-time strike from the edge of box following a corner from Klate.
At the other end, Jean Djunga Munganga ballooned his first-time attempt over from distance after being teed up by a free-kick from Leopards captain Mongezi Bobe midway through the stanza.
Pirates nearly broke the deadlock in the 26th minute, but Maphaha dropped down smartly to block a side-footed effort by Klate from close range. Klate, a five-time Premier Soccer League winner, was cleverly put through by Manyisa's chested lay-off in the box.
Lidoda Duvha then came agonisingly close to scoring in the 32nd minute. However, Buccaneers skipper Lucky Lekgwathi superbly cleared Joshua Obaje's shot off the line after the Nigerian rounded keeper Senzo Meyiwa. Obaje was put through one-on-one following a defensive error by Phungwayo.
Soon after, Mabunda energetically stepped off the right flank before blazing his effort narrowly over Meyiwa's cross bar.
Pirates' Khetowakhe Masuku almost snatched the opener on the stroke of half-time but he was denied a goal against his former employers courtesy of a stellar save by the impressive Maphaha. Masuku arrived late in the box only to see his stinging effort parried to safety by Maphaha.
The visitors took the lead two minutes into the second period, as Mbesuma rifled the ball home in clinical fashion after Sifiso Myeni's deflected pass freed up the Zambian on the edge of the area.
Leopards tried to hit back swiftly, as Meyiwa tipped over Munganga's menacing effort in the 53rd minute.
However, Ntshumayelo doubled the advantage with a stunning strike six minutes later on the angle after receiving a short corner from the left.
Substitute Tlou Segolela, on for Masuka, then made an immediate impact on his introduction, as his telling left-wing cross was turned in by Klate at the far post in the 63rd minute.
Five minutes later Michael Nkambule tried his luck from range but the Leopards man was off target.
Pirates substitute Jele, making his return from a career-threatening knee injury, then put the result beyond doubt with his first touch of the game. The lanky defender headed in a Klate corner in the 81st minute, with Leopards unable to find a way back.
Black Leopards: Azwindini Maphaha, Ernot Dzaga, Harry Nyirenda, Siphamandla Sithole, Thulani Ntshingila, Jean Djunga Munganga (Monama 70'), Mongezi Bobe, Rodney Ramagalela (Maake 60'), Samuel Mabunda, Michael Nkambule, Joshua Obaje.
Orlando Pirates: Senzo Meyiwa, Thabo Matlaba, Lucky Lekgwathi, Ayanda Gcaba, Patrick Phungwayo (Jele 81'), Sifiso Myeni, Oupa Manyisa, Thandani Ntshumayelo, Daine Klate, Collins Mbesuma (Chinyama 67'), Khetowakhe Masuku (Segolela 63').
Goals: Collins Mbesuma (Pirates 47'), Thandani Ntshumayelo (Pirates 59'), Daine Klate (Pirates 63'), Happy Jele (Pirates 81').