Pirates Squeeze Past FS Stars To Move To Sixth
Result: Orlando Pirates 1-0 Free State Stars
Date: 9 April 2016
Venue: Orlando Stadium
Orlando Pirates ground out a 1-0 victory in their Absa Premiership clash with Free State Stars on Saturday night.
The Ea Lla Koto defence was caught napping in the ninth minute which allowed Tendai Ndoro to pounce on a loose ball and place his shot into the far bottom corner of the goal for the early lead.
Shortly thereafter a clever pass from Masalesa found Ndoro who hammered a shot into the near post of Stars' goal.
Mathole was under pressure again when a cross from Memela was almost put into the back of the net by Tlhone, who attempted to clear but instead forced his own goalkeeper into a reaction save.
Stars had a chance in the 27th minute to pull level when Mohomi swung in a free kick to pick out Sekola, but his header was brilliantly saved by Brighton Mhlongo.
Another header was won by Stars in the Pirates area when Vilakazi rose high to send an attempt just over the target.
Some terrific build-up play created a chance for Matlaba in the 34th minute as he found the woodwork before the rebound fell for Myeni who forced a save from Mathole. This came just after a failed penalty appeal from Pirates when Memela went down in the box.
Eric Tinkler's charges pushed for more goals in the opening stanza, but the score remained 1-0 as the sides entered the halftime break.
Mpho Makola was keen to strike just after the break, sending a shot wide before forcing a save from Mathole a few minutes later.
However, after Makola's two attempts the game's chances seemed to dry up as the ball was stroked around in midfield, rarely making its way into the final third.
Stars tested Mhlongo in the 76th minute after some impressive build-up play gave Venter a chance to hammer a shot on target, but the goalkeeper was up to the task.
Issa Sarr came on for Memela in the last 10 minutes to help see out the game as Pirates shut up shop to collect three points.
Here's how they lined up:
Pirates: 16 Mhlongo, 8 Matlaba, 2 Gcaba, 5 Makola, 7 Ndoro, 11 Myeni (Masuku 89'), 12 Masalesa, 15 Qalinge (Motupa 60'), 33 Gyimah, 34 Nyauza, 37 Memela (Sarr 81')
FS Stars: 31 Mathole, 19 Mbhele (Kerspuy 59'), 5 Masehe, 24 Tlhone (Mashego 71'), 4 Makhaula, 33 Chabalala, 23 Sekola, 45 Nkosi, 13 Mohomi, 10 Vilakazi (Thethani 83'), 8 Venter