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Benni McCarthy of Pirates and Thabo September of Supersport react during the Absa Premiership match in Polokwane. Photo: Duif Du Toit

SuperSport (0) 1

Doutie 62

Pirates (1) 2

Rantie 29, Lekgwathi 90

Another late, late goal from Orlando Pirates enabled them to score this crucial win over SuperSport United and edge closer to a second Absa Premiership crown in a row.

Just as the match seemed destined for a draw, Pirates skipper Lucky Lekgwathi found the winning goal in the very last minute of added time to clinch all the points, sending the Buccaneers three points clear at top of the table, while also possibly ending SuperSport’s challenge with two games to go.

Pirates could be deposed as early as this evening provided Mamelodi Sundowns beat off-form Kaizer Chiefs.

Lekgwathi’s second goal in two games upstaged a special strike by Sameegh Doutie, who had drawn SuperSport level early in the second half. Doutie, released by Pirates in January after spending an unfruitful six months in their stable, thought he had ensured Gavin Hunt’s team remain in contention with an unbelievable, curled shot from a freekick on 62 minutes.

The evening began with some promise for Pirates, who took the lead through Tokelo Rantie. But until Lekgwathi’s late intervention, Augusto Palacios’s team were unable to press home the advantage of scoring an early goal, and not even the sending off of Edwin Gyimah, the SuperSport midfielder, could help them.

Even though they scored first, Bucs were fortunate not to concede in the early stages of the game. SuperSport’s Frank-lyn Cale, in particular, was tormenting the Pirates defence, and Moeneeb Josephs had to be alert to thwart the midfielder on seven minutes as his shot from range seemed set to find its way into the top corner of the net.

Just a minute later Pirates skipper Lekgwathi almost scored an own goal following a Cale corner which the visitors’ defence could not clear properly. Lekgwathi, under pressure, headed the ball towards his own goal but will have thanked his lucky stars to see it bounce against the crossbar, enabling Isaac Chansa to clear.

Pirates hadn’t conjured up any forays in the SuperSport danger area until just before the half-hour mark, when Rantie scored his seventh goal of the season. He was helped in the main by a poor clearance from Morgan Gould, who chose to be fancy when he could easily have allowed Rowen Fernandez to handle the ball following a cross. But instead, Gould’s weak clearance found Tlou Segolela, who located Rantie with an inch-perfect cross, and the striker controlled the ball neatly before blasting it past Fernandez.

SuperSport thought they had the equaliser when Cale’s effort beat Josephs, but the midfielder was correctly flagged for offside.

On the hour mark, Doutie scored one of the best goals of his career. There seemed little danger as SuperSport were awarded a free kick a few metres from the corner, but Doutie stepped up to curl the ball expertly beyond Josephs.

Late in the game, SuperSport became more defensive as they had been reduced to 10 men, and Pirates made them pay as Lekgwathi’s piledriver beat a stranded Fernandez with seconds to go. - The Star


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