CAPE TOWN – Orlando Pirates needed a controversial late goal to beat Highlands Park 1-0 in a league encounter at the Makhulong Stadium on Tuesday night.
While the Buccaneers had probably enjoyed more of the scoring chances in a lively match in Tembisa, they were aided by a poor decision by the assistant referee - who should have lifted his flag for off-sides before Tshegofatso Mabaso scored in the 80th minute - to help them end a run of three league games without victory.
In an eventful opening half, the first talking point came in the 12th minute when Mabaso went flying in at Lindokuhle Mbatha and appeared fortunate to only receive a yellow card for what was a nasty challenge.
Pirates, meanwhile, had a couple of chances as Vincent Pule sent a looping header over the bar in the 14th minute before Mabasa steered a shot wide after a great pass from Justin Shonga on the half hour mark.
Following that, Highlands Park sprung into gear and looked set to take the lead when Peter Shalulile did brilliantly down the right flank before crossing for Tendai Ndoro, whose header was directed too close to Bucs keeper Wayne Sandilands, who reacted superbly to make the save.