Johannesburg – Oupa Manyisa scored a second-half goal to lift Orlando Pirates to a 1-0 victory over the University of Pretoria in a Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Thursday.
Manyisa netted eight minutes into the second half for the only goal of the night, which was enough to see the Soweto giants safely out of the relegation zone and up two spots into 13th place in the league standings.
Pirates have claimed 13 points from their seven games, but still trail the rest of the teams in the Premiership by six games, due to their participation in the Caf Champions League earlier this year.
AmaTuks were in with the first chance of the game, against the run of play, as Geofrey Massa tested Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa with a curled effort from close-range, but Meyiwa palmed away the ninth minute opportunity.
Three minutes later, Pirates replied through Kermit Erasmus, who had a double attempt at Washington Arubi's goal, but Erasmus was only able to drive his effort straight into the shot-stopper, before blasting the rebound high and wide of the mark.
Neither side threatened for the rest of the half, with opportunities proving difficult to find as Tuks and Pirates both pulled numbers back in defence.
After the interval, Massa again forced a strong save from Meyiwa, who punched away a powerful effort from the Ugandan international to keep the score unchanged five minutes into the second period.
The Buccaneers, however, were patient on attack and were eventually rewarded in the 53rd minute, when Manyisa's fortunate touch was enough to catch Arubi off guard.
Sifiso Myeni made a run into Tuks' final third and tried a left-footed shot, which looked like missing to the left, but Manyisa's toe sent the ball off course and into the net as Arubi was sent the other way.
Tuks had a rare opportunity fall their way 14 minutes from time, but Mpho Maruping's shot went narrowly wide of Meyiwa's goal, following a period of sustained pressure from the visitors.
Erasmus did well to get his header away at goal four minutes later, but Arubi snapped-up a simple stop to deny the former SuperSport United attacker.
In the end, Pirates saw out their fourth win of the season, while Tuks slumped to their second successive defeat and eighth overall, as they continue to slip down the log. – Sapa