Philani Zulu of Kaizer Chiefs tackled by Musa Nyatama of Orlando Pirates during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at Soccer City, Soweto on 03 March 2018 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Saturday Mar 03, 2018. 17:30
Luvoyo Memela scored a second-half brace to inspire Orlando Pirates to a 3-1 win over Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
The result sees the second-placed Buccaneers close the gap to Absa Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns back down to four points, while the Amakhosi remain in third, now four points adrift of their arch rivals.
Chiefs enjoyed the early dominance in terms of possession and chances created, with Siphiwe Tshabalala seeing a shot on the edge of the box quickly closed down, while Ryan Moon sent a header over the target inside the opening quarter hour.
Pirates claimed the lead on 21 minutes, with Thembinkosi Lorch picking up a poor clearance from Willard Katsande, avoiding a couple of challenges in the penalty area and sending a perfectly-placed shot into the bottom corner of the net.
The Amakhosi hit back to level the game at 1-1 in the 29th minute: Tshabalala sent in a dangerous ball from a free kick and Leonardo Castro got in between two defenders and directed a header beyond Siyabonga Mpontshane.
Pirates made a change at the start of the second half which paid immediate dividends, as substitute Luvoyo Memela controlled a fine pass from Musa Nyatama with his very first touch of the ball, and scored with a left-footed shot from his second to put the Buccaneers back in front.
Castro almost brought Chiefs level again in the 55th minute, getting on the end of a corner kick from Tshabalala to power a header on target, but Mpontshane was able to keep the effort out.
Pirates came close to claiming a third goal on several occasions around the hour mark, with Itumeleng Khune saving from Justin Shonga, Katsande almost scoring an own goal, Memela hitting the woodwork with a deflected free kick, and Mthokozisi Dube somehow missing from a glaring chance just a couple of metres out.
Bucs’ killer third goal finally arrived in the 74th minute, with Shonga sent free down the left by Ntsikelelo Nyauza before providing a low cross which was swept home from close range by Memela for his second of the afternoon.
The Amakhosi looked for a way back into the game and on 83 minutes they nearly halved the deficit, with substitute Bernard Parker stabbing a shot on target, but he was denied by a sharp save from Mpontshane to ensure Pirates took home all three points.
Orlando Pirates (1) 3 (Lorch 21’, Memela 46’ 74’)
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Castro 29’)
Pirates: Mpontshane, Jele, Dube, Nyauza, Lorch (Makola 72’), Shitolo, Mlambo, Nyatama, Maela, Morrison (Memela 46’), Shonga (Mulenga 84’)
Chiefs: Khune, Mphahlele, Cardoso, Ngezana (Parker 77’), Molangoane, Katsande, Meyiwa (Ekstein 68’), Tshabalala, Zulu, Moon (Paez 57’), Castro