Orlando Pirates climbed to fourth place in the DStv Premiership standings following their comfortable 3-0 victory over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila on Wednesday.
Josef Zinnbauer made three changes to his squad that drew with Swallows FC as Innocent Maela came in for the suspended Thulani Hlatshwayo, while Vincent Pule and Gabadinho Mhango returned to the starting lineup.
The Buccaneers showed their intent early on and nearly took the lead in the fifth minute, but Pule’s header sailed wide of the near post after receiving a cross from Wayde Jooste.
Pirates then took the lead in the 16th minute after a defensive error allowed Pule to set up Deon Hotto, who showed his composure to slot the ball home.
Hotto had the chance to bag his second goal of the game two minutes later but could not find the target from the resulting set piece.
The home side had a chance to level matters in the 32nd minute when Thabo Rakhale’s tried to lob Wayne Sandilands, but his effort sailed over the target.
Pirates then doubled their lead six minutes later when Gabadinho Mhango calmly slotted the ball past TTM goalkeeper Washington Arubi.
TTM should’ve pulled a goal back in stoppage time but Sandilands made a low save to deny Meshack Maphangule’s well-struck shot.
The game went into the half-time break with Pirates taking a two-goal lead over TTM.
The Soweto giants had the first chance of the second half after Thembinkosi Lorch delivered a cross into the path Pule, who headed his effort wide of goal.
Pirates were forced into making a change in the 61st minute as Austin Muwowo came on for the injured Hotto.
The visitors grabbed their third goal three minutes later when Fortune Makaringe expertly placed the ball beyond the keeper from the edge of the area.
Mhango thought he had made it 4-0 to Pirates after finding the back of the net but was adjudged to be offside.
Pirates continued to press forward in search of more goals in the 71st minute, but Lorch blazed his strike against the side netting after a superb run down the right flank.
Zinnbauer opted to bring on fresh legs moments later as Mako, Lorch and Motshwari made way for Happy Jele, Linda Mntambo and Thabang Monare, respectively.
The home side came close to reducing the deficit in the 78th minute after Rakhale played a ball into the path of Manaka, who blasted his effort over the crossbar.
At the other end, Pirates had their own opportunity two minutes later but Pule guided his strike wide of the target before making their final change of the game in the 83rd minute as Makaringe made way for Nkanyiso Zungu.
TTM pressed forward in search of a goal in the closing stages, but were unable to find the back of the net as Pirates walked away with maximum points.
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