Result: Black Leopards 2-0 Orlando Pirates
Date: 17 January 2021
Venue: Thohoyandou Stadium
Orlando Pirates' inconsistent form in the DStv Premiership continued after suffering a 2-0 loss to struggling Black Leopards on Sunday.
Pirates welcomed back Thulani Hlatshwayo from suspension, with Paseka Mako dropping out of the team altogether while Leopards recalled Wiseman Maluleke, Roderick Kabwe and Tebogo Makobela.
Lidoda Duvha took the game to the Buccaneers in the early stages, with Rodney Ramagalela forcing a save out of goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands with a threatening strike after just two minutes
The hosts kept on carving out chances and in the 24th minute Pirates were saved by Hlatshwayo, who got between Ovidy Karuru and Sandilands to snuff out danger from a through ball.
Dylan Kerr's charges eventually broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark after lack of communication inside the box from a corner led to Innocent Maela heading the ball into his own net, just moments after his earlier clearance hit the upright.
Leopards doubled their lead five minutes from the break after Kabwe finished off a counter-attack with a low strike past Sandilands after Karuru's impressive flick in the box. To add insult to injury, Ntsikelelo Nyuaza picked up a knock and was stretchered off, with Happy Jele brought on for the rest of the game.
Lidoda Duvha were giving as much as they got from Pirates in the early stages of the second stanza and Karuru had a chance to make it 3-0 for the hosts in the 67th minute but his low shot from the edge of the box was saved by Sandilands.
Terrence Dzvukamanja had a good opportunity to pull a goal back for Josef Zinnbauer's men in the 73rd minute after beating shot-stopper King Ndlovu to the ball but he struck his shot wide.
Mohammed Anas came close twice to snatching the third goal for Leopards in the dying minutes but the striker was unable fire past Sandilands, as the Limpopo side clinched a 2-0 win that took them out of the drop zone while Pirates remain in fifth spot on the log.
Check out JZ’s strong Pirates squad for the 2020/21 season:
Here's how they start:
Leopards: 22. K.Ndlovu, 27. Makobela, 39. Mashoene, 2. Gyimah, 29. Masia, 6. Mthethwa, 15. Maluleke, 16. Ramagalela, 19. Karuru, 18. Makgetlwa, 14. Kabwe.
Subs: 1. Mendes, 33. Khumalo, 5. Abuakar, 8. Onogogbu, 36. Thutlwa, 31. T.Ndlovu, 17. Hlongwane, 33. Anas, 26. Nthatheni
Pirates: 30. Sandilands, 14. Hlatshwayo, 5. Nyauza, 17. Jooste, 23. Maela, 6. Motshwari, 15. Makaringe, 3. Lorch, 11. Hotto, 45. Pule, M7. hango.
Subs: 40. Mpontshane, 27. Dzvukamanja, 32. Mntambo, 21. Zungu, 19. Sam, 18. Dlamini, 16. Monare, 8. Ndlovu, 4. Jele