At last! Pirates end league win drought


JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates ended a 12-game winless run in the Absa Premiership after beating Maritzburg United 2-0 here on Tuesday night.

Goals by Ayanda Gcaba and Dove Wome in either half were enough to see the Buccaneers collect maximum points, which will go a long way in helping them fight for a top-eight finish this season.

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Dove Wome celebrates his goal with Tendai Ndoro, who provided the final pass. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePixPirates coach Kjell Jonevret appeals to the referee after striker Tendai Ndoro was brought down by Maritzburg defender Brian Onyango. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePixAyanda Gcaba opened the scoring for Orlando Pirates against Maritzburg United. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

As it stands, Pirates are now ninth on the log with 23 points from 22 games, moving up three places after this win.

Coach Kjell Jonevret made no changes to the starting line-up from the 4-1 win over Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup last weekend.

That was the second win on Jonevret’s watch since he arrived on a mission to save the Buccaneers from what has been a disastrous campaign.

That win also served as a confidence booster for the Sea Robbers in that they can now push for some form of silverware in a year where they are celebrating their 80th anniversary, having failed in the MTN8 and the Telkom Knockout.

On Tuesday, Pirates continued with the form they displayed against Ea Lla Koto at the weekend as they pushed forward on attack.

Fadlu Davids’ Maritzburg side had to do most of the tracking back as the Sea Robbers took charge and pressed them in search of an opener.

But Pirates opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Ayanda Gcaba rose head and shoulders above the opposition to find the back of the net with a perfect header.

Oupa Manyisa delivered a beauty of a cross to find the towering defender inside the area.

The Team of Choice had decent chances too. They asked a lot of questions, but the Pirates rearguard had all the right answers and held their line pretty well.

Maritzburg’s only clear chance at goal came when Lebohang Maboe broke loose from the Pirates defence just before halftime to find himself in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane to beat.

Mpontshane, however, was smart enough to come off his line to make the save to preserve Pirates’ 1-0 lead.

In the second period, the hosts could have made it 2-0 when Tendai Ndoro received a superb pass from Thembinkosi Lorch, but the striker’s curled shot went over the crossbar.

Maritzburg’s Brian Onyango was given matching orders after a second bookable offence, this time on Ndoro outside the 18-yard box.

Match official Thando Ndzandzeka had given Onyango his first yellow card in the first period, for a foul on Mpho Makola.

In the 79th minute, Dove Wome, who had come on as a substitute, made it 2-0 for the Sea Robbers following a well laid-off ball by Ndoro inside the box.

The Star

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