Orlando Pirates' hopes of securing a second-place finish were dented after suffering a 1-0 loss to TS Galaxy, boosted their survival bid on Monday afternoon.
Result: TS Galaxy 1-0 Orlando Pirates
Date: 02 May 2022
Venue: Mbombela Stadium
Pirates made three changes from the draw against Chippa United, as captain Happy Jele and Goodman Mosele were recalled alongside a rare start for Linda Mntambo.
The Buccaneers should have been ahead in the ninth minute after Terrence Dzvukamanja latched onto a loose ball at the far post but he poked his shot over the crossbar from close range.
The visitors continued to create chances and Jele came close to breaking the deadlock on the half-hour mark with a glancing header at the near post from a corner that missed the far post by a whisker wide.
Pirates were caught on a counter-attack, as Lifa Hlongwane gave the Rockets the lead three minutes later with a tap-in under pressure at the near post after a cut-back by Lindokuhle Mbatha.
The Soweto giants continued to be vulnerable on transitions, as Sphiwe Mahlangu found the back of the net for Galaxy just before the halftime break from a one-on-one with goalkeeper Richard Ofori but the goal was disallowed for offside.
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Pirates made a double tactical change at half-time, as Fortune Makaringe replaced Jele and Kwame Peprah came on for Mntambo but the visitors were fortunate not be 2-0 down just from the restart after Ofori smothered a point-blank shot from Orebotse Mongae in a one-on-one.
The Buccaneers pinned the Rockets in their own half after that, with attack after attack and Thembinkosi Lorch came close to levelling matters in the 65th minute with a grass-cutter from the edge of the box that missed narrowly wide of the bottom post from a corner.
The Soweto giants still had a one way traffic in the closing stages but there were some tired legs, as they threw in Zakhele Lepasa and Wayde Jooste in places of Dzukamanja and Bandile Shandu to refresh the team.
Peprah had a big chance to snatch the equaliser seven minutes before time after a rebound fell on his path in the box but he dragged his shot wide, the game stretched in the tail end but Galaxy held on and moved up to 13th on the log, three points clear of the relegation zone.
Here's how they lined up:
Galaxy: 38. Buthelezi, 3. Seedat, 23. Munyai, 45. Sanoka, 5. Msimango, 35. Mbatha, 6, Mbunjana, 15. Aubaas, 27. Mahlangu, 44. Mongae, 13. Hlongwane.
Subs: 32. Kolak, 14. Radebe, 4. Mahlangu, 8. Nduli, 17. Chidi Kwem, 10. Brooks, 49. Sebelebele, 25. Fakude, 47. Teto.
Pirates: 31. Ofori, 26. Shandu, 5. Nyauza, 4. Jele, Maela, 42. Mabaso, 20. Mosele, 3. Lorch, 32. Mntambo, 11. Hotto, 27. Dzvukamanja.
Subs: 40. Mpontshane, 46. Peprah, 25. Lepasa, 19. Sam, 18. Dlamini, 17. Jooste, 15. Makaringe, 14. Hlatshwayo, 6. Motshwari