Orlando Pirates moved back up to fourth place on the Absa Premiership log as they edged Moroka Swallows 1-0 at Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Dube Birds squandered chance after chance in the second half as Tlou Segolela’s first half strike remained the separating factor between the two teams.
Vladimir Vermezovic was marking his debut at Orlando Stadium since taking over the coaching role at the club earlier this month, and it was also his second Soweto derby encounter.
The first half chance of the fixture fell to Orlando Pirates when Mpho Makola looped a ball to Sifiso Myeni inside the box on eight minutes. The striker burst into the area but was brilliantly closed down by Greg Etafia.
Pirates deservingly took the lead four minutes later when Etafia palmed away Thabo Matlaba’s shot. It only got as far as Tlou Segolela, who was waiting at the back post, and he headed it into the back of an empty net.
Swallows’ first chance of the fixture arrived in the 21stminute in which Senzo Meyiwa drew a save from Siyabonga Nomvethe. His chance was saved, but the rebounded effort by Felix Obada was scrambled away in a mix-up between defender and goalkeeper.
Then, on the stroke of the half hour, Rudi Isaacs did well to get above Lucky Lekgwathi and header in a corner kick but it failed to hit the target - going high and wide.
The Dube Birds were enjoying a good share of attacking possession and they were awarded a free-kick on 34 minutes, but Lerato Chabangu saw his strike sail narrowly over the crossbar.
Bucs made a change at the restart, seeing Lennox Bacela come off and replaced by Helder Pelembe, while Obada was the first to crack a whip at goal with a powerful effort that sailed past the far post.
Matlaba failed to test Etafia with his stinging snapshot on 50 minutes from the edge area and so did Myeni, as his shot lacked any form of power to worry the shot-stopper.
The tempo of the encounter took a sudden drop and, as a result, allowed for the Dube Birds to try take control of the encounter.
The Buccaneers were living life dangerously with just a quarter of an hour left and Meyiwa beat away Nomvethe’s header from a throw-in. Vuysile Wana tried to follow up with the rebound but it was pushed out for a corner.
Zeca Marques was lucky to see his team see out the game with 11 men after men after Levi Mokgothu was shown yellow for a crunching tackle on Happy Jele with ten minutes to go.
Orlando Pirates (1) 1 (Segolela 12’)
Moroka Swallows 0
Orlando Pirates: Meyiwa, Jele, Matlaba, Lekgwathi, Mahamutsa, Ntshumayelo, Manyisa, Makola (Erasmus 69’), Myeni (Masuku 85’), Bacela (Pelembe 46’), Segolela
Moroka Swallows: Etafia, Mapemba, Isaacs, Cohen, Mokgothu, Mbekile, Tsutsulupa, Mabalane (Wana 70’), Chabangu, Nomvethe (Bereng 83’), Obada - Backpage Txt