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Shonga Keeps Bucs' Title Hopes Alive

Absa Premiership 

Result: Golden Arrows 0-1 Orlando Pirates

Date: 02 March 2019

Venue: Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium

Orlando Pirates kept their Absa Premiership title hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Steve Komphela's Golden Arrows on Saturday evening.

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Xola Mlambo was once again left out of the Pirates starting line-up as Musa Nyatama and Ben Motwswari were preferred in midfield.

Chances were hard to come by in the early stages, but the Buccaneers broke the deadlock on 20 minutes as Justin Shonga collected a pass from Luvuyo Memela before curling the ball into the far corner.

Arrows surprisingly took control from then on, although they were unable to create openings for Knox Mutizwa, who cut a frustrated figure against the likes of Happy Jele and Alfred Ndengane.

Milutin Sredojević was forced into an alteration shortly before the break as Motshwari was unable to recover from an earlier knock. The change was eventually made at the start of the second half as Abel Mabaso came on for a rare appearance.

The Buccaneers were still in control for most of the second stanza, but their inability to create chances certainly gave Arrows hope of finding an equaliser.

Mlambo eventually made his way onto the pitch for the final 20 minutes, with Memela making way as Pirates looked to finish off Steve Komphela's charges.

With time running out, the visitors should have sealed the win in the 80th minute but Thembinkosi Lorch fired wide of the mark with only Nkosingiphile  Gumede to beat.

In the end, Lorch's miss did not prove costly as Arrows were unable to find an equaliser as the Buccaneers claimed three points to keep their title hopes alive.

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Here's how they lined up:

Arrows: 32. Gumede, 29. Sibisi, 28. Bilankulu, 5. Mzava, 13. Lunga, 4. Venter, 26. Phiri, 16. Parusnath, 12. Ndwandwe, 11. Sibiya (Sibeko 86'), 18. Mutizwa.

Subs: 1. Mbaeva, 14. Dube, 20. Mathiane, 22. Sibeko, 23. Dube, 34. Sabelo, 41. Lamola.

Pirates: 30. Sandilands, 21. Ndengane, 4. Jele, 23. Maela, 27. Motshwari, (Mabaso 46') 14. Nyatama, 11. Memela, 45. Pule, 7. Mahachi (Mulenga 90'), 3. Lorch, 12. Shonga.

Subs: 40. Mpontshane, 35. Da Silva, 44. Mabaso, 20. Mlambo, 5. Makola, 17. Mulenga, 31. Gabuza.

 

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