Full Time: Orlando Pirates 1-0 Maritzburg United
Date: 15 April 2014
Venue: Orlando Stadium
It was another blunt performance from Orlando Pirates in front of goal, but a strike three minutes from time courtesy of Helder Pelembe saw them run out slender 1-0 winners in their Absa Premiership match against Maritzburg United at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night.
It was a quick start to the match by Pirates who had numerous shots on goal in the opening 15 minutes.
Thamsanqa Gabuza had the Buccaneers first shot on goal in the second minute, but fired wide from distance.
Five minutes later Rooi Mahamutsa tried his luck from 30-yards out, but he saw his swerving shot superbly tipped over the crossbar by Shu-Aib Walters.
Pirates worked the resulting corner to the edge of the box where Khethokwakhe Masuku shot narrowly over the target.
In the 13th minute Happy Jele met a free-kick cross into the box by Mpho Makola, but he headed over from 12-yards out.
Pirates created their best chance of the half two minutes later when Jele met a corner-kick, but saw his header cleared off the goaline by Ruben Cloete.
The United defence tightened up after that, and while offering nothing in attack, they did look solid defensively.
The next effort on goal only came in the 43rd minute when Masuku curled a 25-yard free-kick inches wide of the post.
The half ended 0-0.
The second 45 saw Pirates continue in the same manner as the first and they were afforded their first chance of the half in the 54th minute when a defensive error from Mohammed Awal allowed Gabuza through on goal, but he fired straight at the keeper from six-yards out.
Maritzburg only had their first shot on goal in the 58th minute when a long through ball saw Orlando Smeekes break behind the Buccaneers’ defence, but his attempted chip over the goalie went narrowly wide from the edge of the box.
A minute later Senzo Meyiwa was forced into his first save of the match when Heinrich Isaacks worked his way into the box, but was brilliantly thwarted by the keeper from 16-yards out.
Pirates dominated possession after that and were finally rewarded with the winner in the 87th minute when Helder Pelembe turned home a low Gabuza cross, 1-0.