Result: TS Galaxy 1-0 Orlando Pirates
Date: 30 May 2021
Venue: Mbombela Stadium
Orlando Pirates' hopes of clinching a CAF Champions League spot took a major dent after a 1-0 loss away to TS Galaxy on Sunday afternoon.
Pirates made five changes from the win over AmaZulu, as Abel Mabaso, Thabang Monare, Wayde Jooste, Vincent Pule and Kabelo Dlamini were all recalled, while the Rockets were without Bathusi Aubaas.
The Rockets had a dream start after Masilake Phohlongo gave them the lead in the third minute with a towering header into the top corner after the visitors could not clear a cross by Ebrahim Seedat.
The hosts kept on putting Pirates under pressure as Tshegofatso Nyama came close to doubling their lead in the 15th minute with a deflected shot that sailed inches wide of the upright.
After a quiet start, Gabadinho Mhango rattled the post from close range at the near post as the visitors the began to see more of the ball.
However, the Buccaneers were reduced to ten men on the half-hour mark after Mabaso received a second yellow card before the same fate fell for Galaxy, who saw Given Msimango pick up his second yellow card in a matter of minutes.
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The visitors made a tactical change at half-time, with Deon Hotto replacing Dlamini and the Namibian had an immediate impact, as four minutes later he dribbled his way clear on goal and played a clever dink to the unmarked Mhango but goalkeeper Marlon Heugh denied the Malawian at point-blank range..
Jooste came close to levelling matters for Pirates ten minutes inside the second stanza with left-footed strike from outside the box that was tipped over the bar by Heugh.
Zinnbauer made a double change with 22 minutes remaining, as Thembinkosi Lorch replaced the injured Pule and Bongani Sam came on for Paseka Mako at left back.
Lorch had a chance for the visitors just after coming on after pouncing on a loose ball to charge his way inside the box but he dragged his shot wide as Galaxy held on to grab a top eight spot while the Buccaneers remain in fourth place.
Here's how they started:
Galaxy: 1. Heugh, 45. Sanoka, 5. Msimango, 3. Seedat, 18. Brooks, 8. Nduli, 35. Mbatha, 27. S.Mahlangu, 28. Phohlongo, 11. Nyama, 29. Macuphu,
Subs: 32. Buthelezi, 6. Mbunjana, 7. Mogaila, 13. Shozi, 23. Munyai, 24. Modisane, 30. Shelembe, M. Mahlangu, 19. Lekay.
Pirates: 40. Mpontshane, 5. Nyauza, 23. Maela, 29. Mako, 17. Jooste, 21. Zungu, 16. Monare, 44. Mabaso, 45. Pule, 7. Mhango, 18. Dlamini
Subs: 30. Sandilands, 8. Ndlovu, 19. Sam, 4. Jele, 15. Makaringe, 32. Mntambo, 3. Lorch, 11. Hotto, 37. Dzvukamanja