Full Time: Orlando Pirates 2-1 Ajax Cape Town
Date: 27 January 2014
Venue: Orlando Stadium
A fortuitous goal from Khethowakhe Masuku in the first half and a beautiful goal from Thabo Matlaba in the second saw Orlando Pirates to their first Absa Premiership win of 2014 after beating Ajax Cape Town 2-1 at Orlando Stadium on Monday night.
The opening 45 minutes saw Pirates dictating terms and controlling ball possession, but for all their dominance they were unable to really fashion a decent opening in front of goal.
Instead, the Buccaneers toiled away in the midfield with very little success in front of an Ajax side that sack back in defence and looked to hit on the counter-attack.
Consequently, scoring chances were few and far between as Pirates struggled to break down the Urban Warriors defence and instead opted to shoot from distance.
The first effort on goal came in the sixth minute as Lehlogonolo Masalesa let fly from 35-yards out, but his shot was easily saved by Anssi Jaakkola.
In the 12th minute Masalesa tried his luck again form distance, but this time his 30-yard effort sailed over the crossbar.
Five minutes later some smart attacking play down the left flank by Aubrey Ngoma saw him whip a dangerous ball into the box, but Helder Pelembe was not tall enough to get onto the end of it.
Ajax had offered very little in attack thus far and were struggling to really match Pirates in the midfield. This led to an early change by coach Ian Taylor, bringing on Toriq Losper for Thato Mokeke in the 27th minute.
The change did not have the desired effect as Pirates continued to dominate the possession stakes.
In the 32nd minute Pelembe unleashed a 30-yard thunderbolt, but Jaakkola produced a good save, diving to his left to deny him.
Three minutes later, though, Pirates did open the scoring, somewhat fortuitously as a cross from the right by Khethowakhe Masuku drifted beyond Jaakkola and found the top corner of the net, 1-0.
Heavy rain began to fall after that which resulted in both teams struggling to keep hold of the ball for sustained periods of play and create any more chances on goal in the opening half.
The start of the second 45 saw Pirates take the ascendancy and they managed to double their lead ten minutes after the break.
It was a beautiful goal from Thabo Matlaba who curled the ball into the top corner form 16-yards out, 2-0.
Ajax tried to fight their way back into the match thereafter and managed to pull a goal back in the 71st minute.
Some poor defending from Pirates saw them unable to clear a long throw-in which resulted in a goalmouth scramble and concluded with Grandwald Scott volleying home from six-yards out, 2-1.
That set-up an exciting final 15 minutes, but neither side could add to their goal tally as the Buccaneers held on and earned their first win of 2014.
Related Article: Starting XI: Pirates V Ajax
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