Full Time: Orlando Pirates 2-1 Bidvest Wits
Date: 4 February 2014
Venue: Orlando Stadium
A goal from second half substitute Kermit Erasmus saw Orlando Pirates come from a goal behind to beat Bidvest Wits 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Buccaneers showed real character after going into the half time break a goal down thanks to Sibusiso Vilakazi, but second half strikes from Helder Pelembe (his first in a Pirates shirt) and Erasmus handed them the three points.
Pirates started the better of the two teams and created a golden scoring opportunity as early as the second minute.
A corner-kick was flicked on at the front post by Happy Jele and Lehlongonolo Maselesa was quickest to react, but he fired his four-yard shot over the crossbar with an empty net at his mercy.
Four minutes later Pelembe tried his luck from 24-yards out, but his powerful effort went just wide of the post.
In the ninth minute Aubrey Ngoma showed some superb skill on the left flank, beating one defender on his way into the box, but he shot straight at the keeper from 16-yards out.
Ten minutes later Khethowakhe Masuku came within inches of opening the scoring for Pirates when his 35-yard screamer skimmed the wrong side of the crossbar.
Then, in the 20th minute, very much against the run of play, Wits took the lead. Some slack defending from Jele allowed Sibusiso Vilakazi to sneak in front of him and tuck home a low right-wing cross, 1-0.
Jele tried to make up for his defensive error seven minutes later when he broke down the right flank and cut the ball back from the byline to an unmarked Pelembe, but his 14-yard shot was brilliantly saved by Moneeb Josephs.
In the 32nd minute Josephs was at his best again with another acrobatic save to deny Ayanda Gcaba a headed goal from a corner-kick.
Three minutes later Masuku let rip from 30-yards out, but his thunderous shot was also well-saved by Josephs.
Pirates continued to press forward as the half drew to an end, but could not find the equalising goal as Wits took a 1-0 lead into the break.
The second half continued in the same vein, but with a slight difference as Pirates managed to breach the Wits goalline ten minutes after the restart.
Pelembe grabbed his first goal for Pirates as he headed home a Masuku corner-kick, 1-0.
As the game progressed Wits began to tire and understandably so as it was their first game of 2014 in comparison to Pirates’ fourth of the year.
The Buccaneers took full advantage of Wits’ tiring legs and found the winning goal in the 73rd minute.
Thabo Matlaba broke into the left side of the box and beat two defenders before crossing from the byline for second half substitute Kermit Erasmus to head home from only a couple of yards out, 2-1.
Wits threw players forward in the closing minutes of the match, but could not find the equalise goal as the Bucs picked up all three points.