Orlando Pirates beat Bloem Celtic to remain within touch of league leaders Sundowns
CAPE TOWN – Orlando Pirates remained in touch with the DStv Premiership League pace-setters after they defeated 10-man Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening.
This victory will see Pirates move from 29 to 32 points into third place and four points adrift of log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. Second place is occupied by SuperSport United.
Celtic goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane was called into action in the opening 30 seconds when he cut off a goalmouth cross after Pirates defender Happy Jele sent striker Deon Hotto clear down the left flank.
There was more pressure from Pirates in the eighth minute when they secured the first of three first-half corners. However, Celtic's defence stood firm and offered splendid support to Mabokgwane who pulled a great save to deny Pirates defender Siphesihle Ndlovu on the stroke of halftime.
Two minutes into added first-half time, Celtic striker Ndumiso Mabena was shown a red card after a vicious studs-up tackle on Pirates linkman Linda Mntambo.
After a raft of near misses in the second half, the game was crying out for a goal and Pirates midfielder Fortune Makaringe obliged with a moment of brilliance in the 61st minute. After slipping several tackles he unleashed a low drive from well outside the penalty area to net the opening goal.
Meanwhile, Moroka Swallows suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of TS Galaxy at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, on Tuesday evening.
Swallow's Ruzaigh Gamildien scored a 50th-minute penalty. Galaxy's goals were scored in the final 10 minutes of the match by John Mbatha and Bevan Fransman.
In Pietermaritzburg, Maritzburg United defeated Black Leopards 1-0 at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday evening. Thabiso Kutumela scored the winner from the penalty sport, three minutes into injury time.