A stoppage-time Keegan Ritchie own goal handed Orlando Pirates a 1-0 win over Bidvest Wits to take the Buccaneers back to the top of the Absa Premiership.
Pirates came into the title showdown with Wits, looking to go one better than their 0-0 on Monday night against Mamelodi Sundowns to take them clear of the Clever Boys, as well as drag them level with the Brazilians at the top of the table.
Gavin Hunt’s men, however, would have been looking to move back into second after seeing both their rivals drop points earlier in the week.
In this must-win encounter for both sides the hosts got off to the stronger start. Wits threatened the visitors’ goal in the opening 25 minutes with both Keegan Richie and Gift Motupa trying their luck from range, but just missing the target.
Milutin Sredojevic’s men were struggling to find any rhythm in their passing, and as a result they rarely had a sight of the Wits goal, with Augustine Mulenga’s driven shot their only effort of note in the opening 30 minutes.
The Sea Robbers, however, were offered a golden opportunity to open the scoring five minutes before the break as Thamsanqa Gabuza fired his shot just wide from the centre of the box.
0-0 the half-time score with both sides not really doing enough to be ahead.
Both Sredojevic and Hunt would have been hoping for a change in fortunes in the second half and would have surely asked for a change of emphasis in the second half.
Things, however, didn’t change much for either side with chances proving scarce for both.
The game looked to be petering out to a 0-0 draw until a Pirates free kick was swung into the Wits box with seconds to play. Ritchie rose and attempted to head the ball away, but instead it flicked off the back of his head and flew into the top corner to hand Pirates a stoppage-time winner.
The Soweto giants move to the top of the table level on points with Sundowns on 44 points, but ahead of Downs on goal difference.
Other PSL results:
Maritzburg United 2-1 Bloemfontein Celtic
Golden Arrows 1-0 Cape Town City
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