Orlando Pirates claimed their first PSL win of the season with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Chippa United, despite having to play with 10 men for most of the second half, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
Milutin Sredojevic dropped goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands following his blunder in the 1-1 draw against Highlands Park with Siyabonga Mpontshane taking up his spot.
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Playing in front of their home crowd, Chippa coach Dan Malesela opted to start new marquee signing Daine Klate, while winger Thabo Rakhale also made a return to the starting XI after a trial with Turkish outfit Istanbulspor.
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The visitors started the brighter of the two sides and deservedly took the lead in the 16th minute when Justin Shonga’s powerful freekick rattled the crossbar with the resultant deflection going in off a Chippa defender.
Chippa looked disjointed in the first half, with their best efforts at goal coming from long-range efforts.
The home side gave a much-improved account of themselves in the second stanza, particularly after the introduction of former Pirates midfielder Thamsanqa Sangweni.
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Pirates upped their tempo in search of the second goal, but were denied by Chippa who scrambled clearances and put bodies on the line to withstand the onslaught.
Micho’s side, unfortunately, failed to get anything from their sustained period of pressure, with Vincent Pule and Shonga guilty of missing from within the area.
Pule made way for Kudakwashe Mahachi soon after. Pirates were reduced to 10 men in the 70th minute when Mthokozisi Dube received a second yellow card. Bucs were then forced to reshuffle things at the back with Diamond Thopola replacing Shonga.
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The Bucs made their final change close to the end of the game when Abbubaker Mobara replaced Mpho Makola with Micho setting to shut up shop.
Sensing that they could get a point from the game due to Pirates’ numerical disadvantage, Chippa threw everything forward, however, the visitors stood firm to register their first victory of the 2018-19 campaign.
In the other PSL results:
Baroka 2-1 CT City
Golden Arrows 0-2 Bloem Celtic
FS Stars 2-1 Maritzburg
SuperSport 1-0 AmaZulu