Orlando Pirates secured a 2-1 victory against Polokwane City in their Absa Premiership encounter courtesy of goals by Marcelo da Silva and Justin Shonga, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
Milutin Sredojevic’s side went into the clash on the back of a seven-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, securing 15 points from a possible 21.
Pirates made a number of changes from their side that secured a 3-1 victory against AmaZulu in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals with Linda Mntambo, Mpho Makola, Marcelo Da Silva and Thabo Qalinge being handed starting berths ahead of the likes of Ben Mothswari, Vincent Pule and Xola Mlambo.
The clash got off to a slow start with neither side able to solidify clear dominance throughout the pitch.
Rise and Shine striker Rodney Ramagalela had the first shot at goal in the second minute when he let rip from 20-yards out, but his effort was easily kept out by Jackson Mabokgwane.
The home side continued to threaten and came agonisingly cllose to scoring ten minutes later, however Vusimusi Mngomezulu was only able to direct his effort straight into the hands of th goalkeeper following a goalmouth scramble.
Pirates’ best chance of the game came in the the 35th minute when Asavela Mbekile when a well-worked move saw Asavela Mbekile square the ball onto the onrushing Justin Shonga, however the Zambian fired wide from 14-yards out.
Neither side were able to break the deadlock as the two sides went into the half-time break deadlocked at 0-0.
Pirates signaled their intent to attack as they brought on Thabiso Kutumela for Mbekile.
Former Mamelodi Sundowns star Abel Mabaso was also handed his debut as he came on in place of Lorch a few minutes later.
Brazilian defender Da Silva opened the scoring for Pirates in the 59th minute as he reacted quickest to nod home after an initial excellent save by George Chigova
Pirates should have doubled their lead a minute later when a swift counter attacking move saw Thabiso Kutumela play Lorch through on goal, but the winger failed to bury his effort.
Shonga managed to double his side’s lead in the 66th minute when he squeezed a well-taken freekick past Chigova.
As the clash went on, Pirates looked more likely to add to their tally, however the home side managed to net a consolation to deny Pirates a clean sheet.
The 2-1 result saw Pirates extend their unbeaten streak to ten games in all competitions.
Photo: Gallo Images