A 10-man Cape Town City held on for a gutsy 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates thanks to a Kermit Erasmus striker and some heroics from goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh as Pirates remain winless since the restart.
Josef Zinnbauer’s side came into the encounter desperate to pick up their first win since the restart while the Citizens were looking for another big scalp since the resumption after last week’s win against Mamelodi Sundowns.
The league’s top scorer Gabadinho Mhango was left out by Pirates with Thembinkosi Lorch coming in from the start to support Tshegofatso Mabasa who started in the lone striker’s role.
The Soweto giants got off to a good start as they controlled the pace of the game by dominating possession, with Nyakiso Zungu, in particular, looking smooth on the ball.
The Sea Robber calved the first opening as Vincent Pule won possession back on the half-way line before feeding in Mabasa, but the striker’s first-time left-footed effort went narrowly wide with just 10 minutes gone
Five minutes later and it was then City’s chance to go close as Tashreeq Morris got on the end of a Mduduzi Mdantsane free-kick but his shot deflected off Nkanyiso Zungu before Happy Jele cleared the ball off the line.
Jan Olde Riekerink’s side was then dealt a major blow as Mpho Makola was given his marching orders for a second yellow card against his former club in the 32nd minute.
Despite going a man down, the Citizens had the last say in the half as Thamsanqa Mkhize’s cross from the right flank caught out Thabiso Monayne at the back post, who allowed Erasmus to ghost in behind and fire home into an empty net at the back post.
1-0 to the Citizens at the break with Pirates needing a big second-half showing.
The Buccaneers had been playing good football all afternoon but had been lacking a cutting edge and that continued in the second half.
With 58 minutes gone Pule picked the ball up and in frustration smashed an effort goal-bound, it looked destined for the top corner but City keeper Peter Leeuwenburgh pulled off a spectacular diving save to keep his team in front.
Pirates then though they had a penalty moments later when Luvuyo Memela was brought down by Thabao Nodada and the referee pointed to the spot. However, after consulting his linesman, the referee decided to change his mind.
Pirates were throwing everything forward but even when they managed to create an opening on goal, they were met by an inspired Leeuwenburgh in the City goal with the Dutchman pulling off several top-class saves to frustrate the Sea Robbers.
City showing massive character and grit to hold on for all three points while Pirates remain winless, having only score two goals, since the resumption of football.
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