Orlando Pirates were brought back to earth from the high of their derby success over Kaizer Chiefs as a brace from Pule Mmodi fired Golden Arrows to a 2-0 win over the Soweto giants on Tuesday evening, with Thembinkosi Lorch missing a second-half penalty.
Pirates came into the game looking to build on the win over Chiefs this past weekend while closing the gap on the clubs at the top of the table. Arrows, on the other hand, knew before kick-off that a victory would take them above their visitors and into fourth spot.
Pirates made four changes from the weekend, as Innocent Maela and Paseka Mako were handed a start while Siphesihle Ndlovu and youngster Azola Tshobeni were paired in the midfield.
The home side started brightly and had the first big chance of the game, when Knox Mutizwa’s curling effort was expertly saved by Richard Ofori in the Pirates goal with 10 minutes gone.
The Sea Robbers then had a chance of their own as Mako was picked out in the box with 30 minutes played, but his header went straight to goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana.
The home side eventually opened the scoring just five minutes before the break. Some quick thinking from a throw put Pule Mmodi through on goal, the forward coming from the left flank. He managed to squeeze his shot into the bottom right-hand corner from a tight angle, leaving a sprawling Ofori helpless.
There were, however, arguments from Pirates players as replays showed two balls on the pitch at the same time.
It was 1-0 to the hosts at the break, with Pirates desperate to turn things around in the second half.
Josef Zinnbauer’s side came out with real intent in the second half, dominating possession and territory by pegging Arrows back in their own third.
That pressure eventually paid off as the Buccaneers were awarded a penalty for a handball by Thabani Zuke.
Thembinkhosi Lorch stepped up to the spot and, while many expected to see the net bulge, the Bafana Bafana international sent his spot kick sailing way over the crossbar.
Pirates continued to dominate possession and looked to break down an Arrows side that, at this stage. were just looking to shut out their opponents.
The Soweto giants were then hit with a sucker punch in the 67th minute as a long ball over the top caught the defenders out, with Mmodi sneaking in to seal his brace while doubling his side’s lead.
Pirates continued to look for a way back into the game but, while throwing men forward they left themselves vulnerable at the back. Wasteful finishing from Abafana Bes’thende meant there was no change to the scoreline with Pirates stuttering yet again.
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