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Bucs Keep Title Hopes Alive With Usuthu Win

Absa Premiership
Result: AmaZulu 1-2 Orlando Pirates
Date: 15 April 2018
Venue: King Zwelithini Stadium
Orlando Pirates kept their Absa Premiership title hopes alive with a 2-1 win over AmaZulu at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Sunday.
The Buccaneers shaded the possession statistics in the early stages of the encounter but they failed to carve out a clear-cut chance.
It was Usuthu who got the opening goal on 10 minutes as a swift counter-attack saw Ovidy Karuru released down the right before he picked out Mabhuti Khenyeza to tap home from close range.
The hosts showed no signs of slowing down and they carved out another chance on 24 minutes but Milton Ncube could only fire into the side-netting from close range.
However, Pirates leveled matters with their first effort on target in the 33rd minute when Musa Nyatama nodded home Thembinkosi Lorch's free-kick.
Both sides went in search of a second goal in the closing stages of the half, but they were unable to carve out a chance.
Milutin Sredojevic opted for a change at the start of the second half as Lorch made way for Augustine Mulenga.
The Buccaneers threw numbers forward in search of a second goal, while Thabo Qalinge was also introduced for Mpho Makola on the hour mark.
Siyabonga Mbatha came to Usuthu's rescue on 73 minutes as the shot-stopper pulled off a stunning save to keep out Justin Shonga's low strike 
However, Pirates were not to be denied six minutes later as the ball dropped to Qalinge in the box and the winger sent a low driven strike past Mbatha.
Cavin Johnson's men threw numbers forward in search of an equaliser in the closing stages, but the Soweto giants remained resolute to claim the win.
Pirates are now only three points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
Here's how they lined up:
AmaZulu: 28. Mbatha, 24. Sikhakhane, 29. Mabiliso, 17. Gumede, 13. Ouro-Akoriko, 6. Ncube, 14. Mnguni, 10. Nomvethe (Ncobeni 73'), 9. Cele (Manzini 83'), 23. Karuru, 2. Khenyeza (Morton 68').
Subs: 1. Murambadoro, 27. Nyongo, 25. Gumede, 32. Lumkwana, 8. Ncobeni 4. Morton, Manzini.
Pirates: 40. Mpontshane, 4. Jele, 6. Shitolo, 24. Thopola, 23. Maela, 14. Nyatama, 37. Mlambo, 5. Makola (Qalinge 61'), 11. Memela (Munetsi 83'), 3. Lorch (Mulenga 46'), 27. Shonga.
Subs: 30. Sandilands, 39.Maphanga, 33. Munetsi, 45. Mobara, 15. Qalinge, 31. Gabuza, 42. Mulenga.


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