Durban — Orlando Pirates recovered well following their thumping at the hands of Mamelodi Sundowns as they recorded a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Marumo Gallants at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg.
The win for the Sea Robbers was inspired by Kwame Peprah who notched a brace.
Siphelele Ntshangase gave Gallants the lead in the 11th minute, helped by a goalkeeping howler from Siyabonga Mpontshane.
Ntshangase’s cross aimed towards Sede Dion was misjudged by the Pirates goalkeeper and ended up going into the back of the net. Ntshangase himself seemed somewhat surprised that he scored given his fairly low-key celebration.
Peprah scored his first two goals for Pirates within the space of three minutes to give his side the lead. The first came in the 23rd minute as Thembinkosi Lorch supplied a through ball before the Ghanaian converted with a low shot to his left.
Peprah doubled his tally and gave his side the lead three minutes later. He again combined with Lorch as the former sent in a low cross before he struck low beyond the reach of Gallants goalkeeper Washington Arubi.
In a somewhat surprising move, Gallants coach Dan Malesela opted to make a tactical double change before half-time. Goal scorer Ntshangase was replaced by Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo while Mpho Mvelase was also withdrawn and replaced by Mahlatse Madukubela.
Pirates were the more composed side in the second half. Peprah produced some good play early on in the second half to set up Ntsako Makhubela who forced a good reflex save from Arubi.
Gallants attempted to create chances but it simply came to nothing as they tried to pull the strings together. This could be seen by the 75th minute as Malesela could be seen frustrated on the touchline after Celimpilo Ngema gave away possession.
Terrence Dzvukamanja looked to give Pirates their third in the 84th minute but he just could not pick out a team-mate to finish after he had Arubi beaten.
Pirates should have wrapped up the game in the 88th minute as Deon Hotto chipped in a ball before Dzvukamanja had his header cleared off the line.
The win moves Pirates to second in the league though they are still several points adrift of runaway league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
Both teams will play their final game of 2021 on Thursday. Gallants end the year with a tough away trip to Loftus Versfeld to play against Mamelodi Sundowns. Pirates will host AmaZulu at the Orlando Stadium.