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Pirates Humbled By Wits In Seven-Goal Thriller

Absa Premiership

Result: Bidvest Wits 4-3 Orlando Pirates

Date: 21 September 2019

Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium

Orlando Pirates were brought back down to earth after suffering a defeat Bidvest Wits in a seven-goal thriller at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

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Mabasa retained his spot in the Pirates line-up after his heroic brace against Chippa United last week, while Joris Delle has seemingly become the club's first choice as Wayne Sandilands was benched once again.

The Clever Boys boys got off to the perfect start as Deon Hotto opened the scoring with a superb free-kick that left Delle flat-footed after just two minutes.
 
The Buccaneers looked for an immediate response and they went close through Fortune Makaringe, who forced Brandon Petersen into a fine save on 12 minutes before he headed over the crossbar minutes later.
 
The more Pirates enjoyed possession in the first half, the bigger the influence Makaringe was having down the flanks as the Wits defenders found it tough to nullify the winger. Pirates' dominance eventually paid off on the stroke of halftime as Mabasa netted his third goal of the season with a stunning volley into the top corner.
 
 
Wits goalkeeper Brandon Petersen was unable to recover from the injury suffered in the first half and eventually made way for former Pirates goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo at the start of the second half while Sameehg Doutie also made way for Haashim Domingo.
 
The second half started in similar fashion to the first as Wits restored their lead five minutes in, as Hotto turned provider to play in Mxolisi Macuphu, who controlled well before finding the top corner. The lead did not last long for the home side as Pirates were back on level terms a minute later, as Musa Nyatama showed quick feet to create space in the box to fire a low strike past Mhlongo.
 
However, the pendulum swung once again as Gavin Hunt's side restored their lead with just over 20 minutes remaining as a Pirates clearance landed at the feet of Cole Alexander, who sent a fine volley into the bottom corner from around 20-yards out.
 
The Clever Boys got the two-goal cushion in the 81st minute as substitute Phathutshedzo Nange combined with Domingo before slotting into the far corner. Despite the late push from the Buccaneers, Wits were able to hold on for victory that sees them rise up to second spot while Pirates sit in eighth.

Here's how they lined up:

Wits:  1. Petersen, 3. Hlatshwayo, 8. Monare, 11. Hotto, 13. Hlanti, 15. Mkhwanazi, 17. Alexander, 21. Doutie, 24. Macheke, 28. Macuphu, 37. Dzvukamanja.
 
Subs: 16. Mhlongo, 4. Nonyane, 10. Domingo, 14. Nange, 25. Motupa, 32. Lark.
 
Pirates: 1. Delle, 4. Jele, 23. Maela, 5. Nyauza, 8. Ndlovu, 14. Nyatama, 20. Mlambo, 15, Makaringe, 3. Lorch, 17. Mulenga, 16. Mabasa.
 
Subs: 40. Sandilands, 21. Monyane, Muwowo, 25. Lepasa, Dlamini, 11. Memela, 7. Mhango.
 

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