MATCH CENTRE

TUE 28 AUGUST 2018, 19:30, NEW PETER MOKABA STADIUM

1
VS
2

Ten-man Pirates too strong for Leopards

by Graeme Jackson

Tue August 28, 21:35

Ten-man Orlando Pirates defeated Black Leopards 2-1 in an Absa Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The Buccaneers – who played the majority of the match with 10 men following a bizarre dismissal for Thamsanqa Gabuza – claimed all three points thanks to an own goal and fine finish by Vincent Pule, while Lidoda Duvha’s Joseph Mhlongo struck a brilliant consolation effort.

Pirates blew three great chances to open the scoring within the first 10 minutes – two saw Thamsanqa Gabuza fail to even hit the target, while Vincent Pule had the clearest opening within the first 30 seconds after kick-off but was unable to get the better of goalkeeper Rotshidzwa Muleka.

Pule tried his hand again in the 25th minute when he whipped a left-footed effort toward goal direct from a free kick, but the ball flashed just over the crossbar and rippled the top of the netting.

Just a minute later Muleka was on hand again to push away Pule’s volley, while the rebound fell for Gabuza but his acrobatic effort was bravely blocked by Leopards defender Thivhavhudzi Ndou.

However, Ndou scored a poor own goal in the 34th minute to put the Buccaneers ahead, skewing an attempted clearance from Gabuza’s left-flank cross into his own net. The Pirates striker, who had been the target of the boo boys, then bizarrely ran to the sidelines, threw his shirt into the crowd and disappeared down the players’ tunnel.

He didn’t reappear for the remainder of the first half, or even at the start of the second, with Pirates claiming that they were assessing an injury he supposedly sustained in celebrating the goal. Only five minutes after the restart did he reappear, with an ice pack strapped to his thigh.

The referee duly showed him two yellow cards (presumably one for removing his shirt, another for leaving the field without permission) and he was dismissed, leaving the Soweto giants to continue with 10 men for the rest of the game.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Pirates doubled their lead in the 65th minute. Xola Mlambo played a fine ball over the top of the defence and Pule this time kept his composure in front of goal, easing the ball past Muleka to make it 2-0.

Lidoda Duvha appeared to be down and out, but in the 70th minute they received a lifeline in spectacular fashion. Substitute Joseph Mhlongo saw his initial shot on the edge of the box blocked, but the ball looped up and fell kindly for him to have a second attempt – this time he ripped an unstoppable left-footed volley into the top corner to reduce the deficit.

Yet that was to be as good as it got for the hosts, who were unable to create any further openings. The teams will return to league action midway through next month, with Pirates and Leopards at home to SuperSport United and Bloemfontein Celtic respectively.

Black Leopards (0) 1 (Mhlongo 70’)
Orlando Pirates (1) 2 (Ndou og 34’, Pule 65’)

Leopards: Muleka, Munyai, Ndou, Munganga, Mashoane, Nene (Kapinga 77’), Tshepe (T. Ndlovu 61’), Nange, Mudau (Mhlongo 46’), Khutlang, Musonda

Pirates: Mpontshane, Matlaba (Mahlonoko 90+2’), Jele, Munetsi, Maela, Mako, Motshwari, Mlambo, Mntambo (Shonga 63’), Pule (Thopola 77’), Gabuza

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
LEAGUE MATCH NEW PETER MOKABA STADIUM
BLACK LEOPARDS GOALS ORLANDO PIRATES GOALS
30. Joseph Mhlongo (70') 3. Thivhavhudzi Ndou (34') (OG)
45. Vincent Pule (65')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
2 3 1
BLACK LEOPARDS STARTING LINEUP ORLANDO PIRATES STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
32
Goalkeeper
90 + 3'
40
Defender
28
Defender
4
Midfielder
77'
20
Defender
23
Midfielder
61'
10
Defender
32'
90 + 2'
8
Midfielder
46'
6
Midfielder
27
Midfielder
5
Midfielder
63'
32
Midfielder
90 + 5'
14
Midfielder
33
Midfielder
34'
41'
3
Midfielder
29
Midfielder
39
Midfielder
20
Midfielder
4
Forward/Striker
51'
51'
31
Forward/Striker
11
Forward/Striker
65'
77'
45
SUBSTITUTIONS
Joseph Mhlongo
Forward/Striker
46'
30
Justin Shonga
Forward/Striker
63'
12
Themba Ndlovu
Defender
61'
31
Diamond Thopola
Defender
77'
35
Elton Kapinga
Midfielder
77'
12
Augustine Mahlonoko
Midfielder
90 + 2'
38
CARDS
Thivhavhudzi Ndou
Midfielder
41'
3
Thabo Matlaba
Defender
32'
8
Phathutshedzo Nange
Midfielder
90 + 5'
14
Thamsanqa Gabuza
Forward/Striker
51'
31
Thamsanqa Gabuza
Forward/Striker
51'
31
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
GALLERY
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