Full Time: Orlando Pirates 0-1 AmaZulu
Date: 8 August 2013
Venue: FNB Stadium
Despite dominating proceedings throughout their opening 2013/14 Absa Premiership encounter, Orlando Pirates suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to AmaZulu at the FNB Stadium on Thursday night.
A solitary goal from Bongani Ndulula was enough to hand the Durban-based side all three points as the Buccaneers fired blanks in front of goal.
The opening 45 minutes saw Pirates with the majority of the possession, but they failed to take advantage of their dominance as they squandered chance after chance in front of goal.
The Buccaneers were quick out of the blocks with new man Kermit Erasmus letting loose with a powerful 25-yard shot, but he saw his effort superbly saved by Aubrey Mathibe diving to the right.
In the 12th minute William Thwala created another great scoring opportunity for Pirates as he whipped in a tantalising right wing cross which the keeper missed, leaving his net gaping, but Happy Jele failed to direct his header on target.
Then, in the 31st minute, very much against the run of play, AmaZulu took the lead.
In their first foray forward Bongani Ndulula set himself on goal with some silky skills, beating a couple defenders before passing the ball into the bottom right hand corner from just inside the box,1-0.
Pirates almost equalised five minutes later as Collins Mbesuma fired a 30-yard shot goalwards, but Mathibe was on hand to tip the pile-driver over the crossbar.
Two minutes before the break Erasmus was also unlucky not to find Pirates’ opening goal as he headed a Sifiso Myeni free-kick inches over the crossbar.
The half ended 1-0 in favour of AmaZulu.
The start of the second 45 continued in much the same fashion as the first as Pirates dictated terms from the onset, with Erasmus in particular causing problems for the AmaZulu defence.
In the 56th minute Erasmus brought the best out of Mathibe in the AmaZulu goal, the keeper diving to his right to punch away a 20-yard thunderbolt from the former SuperSport United man.
Five minutes later and Erasmus should really have scored when he latched onto a ball over the top of the AmaZulu defence, but with just the keeper to beat he was unable to find the back of the net, firing his effort straight at Mathibe who made a relatively comfortable save.
In the 76th minute Erasmus turned provider as he supplied a great through ball for Thabo Matlaba, but he fired his shot inches wide from an acute angle 12-yards out.
Pirates continued to press forward, but were unable to find the goal they had been threatening the entire night as the Buccaneers lost their opening Absa Premiership match of the season.