Result: Orlando Pirates 2-0 Maritzburg United
Date: 18 April 2021
Venue: Orlando Stadium
Orlando Pirates climbed to fourth spot in the DStv Premiership with a 2-0 victory over Maritzburg United on Sunday night at Orlando Stadium.
Pirates made three enforced changes from the loss to Mamelodi Sundowns, as Thulani Hlatshwayo and Gabadinho Mhango's suspenions saw Thabiso Sesane and Kabelo Dlamini start while Abel Mabaso also came in with Happy Jele missing out through injury.
The Team of Choice were dangerous on counter-attacks early on, as Daylon Claasen had a wonderful chance to give them the lead in the ninth minute after a cut-back by Bandile Shandu but he dragged his shot wide.
United caught the Buccaneers again on the break just a minute later after Bongokuhle Hlongwane went through on goal but his thumping effort was smothered by shot-stopper Wayne Sandilands.
Josef Zinnbauer's charges were getting into the game on the half-hour mark as Dlamini came close to breaking the deadlock with a grass-cutting strike from outside the box that missed the upright by a whisker.
Deon Hotto should have given Pirates the lead seven minutes before the break after latching onto a long through ball by Sesane, but the Namibian was denied by goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt before the winger squandered another opening moments later.
Vincent Pule replaced Ben Motshwari at halftime, as Tshefofatso Mabasa had a brilliant chance to break deadlock four minutes inside the second stanza after a cut-back by Hotto but his first-time strike sailed over the bar.
Pule finally made it 1-0 for the Buccaneers on the hour-mark with a close-range finish into a gaping net at the back post after a looping square pass by Fortune Makaringe.
Hlongwane should have equalised for Ernst Middendorp's troops in the last 20 minutes after a rebound from Ryan Rae's long thrown-in fell on his path at the back post but he guided his shot over the bar.
Pule doubled the lead for Pirates in the last 12 minutes after Engelhardt misjudged the flight of a long ball from Sandilands, which allowed the Pirates winger to head into an empty net.
The Buccaneers continued to push for goals but Engelhardt redeemed himself with a few fine saves as Pule's brace was enough to secure maximum points on the night.
Here's how they started:
Pirates: 31. Sandilands, 5. Nyauza, 36. Sesane, 44. Mabaso, 29. Mako, 6. Motshwari, 16. Monare, 15. Makaringe, 11. Hotto, 18. Dlamini, 9. Mabasa.
Subs: 40. Mpontshane, 45. Pule, 34. Tshobeni, 32. Mntambo, 26. Muwowo, 21. Zungu, 17. Jooste, 12. Makgaka, 2. Monyane.
Maritzburg: 31. Engelhardt, 26. Shandu, 16. Daniels, 11. Tlolane, 42. Rae, 5. Morgan, 6. Graham, 17. Claasen, 10. Meza, 21. Hlongwane, 7. Kutumela.
Subs: 30. Mpandle, 28. Hlubi, 19. Moseamedi, 4. Allie, 22. Stevic, 25. Ismail, 13. Sifama, 19. Hachi, 15. Ntshangase.