Pirates begin chase for second-place finish

Pirates begin chase for second-place finish
Orlando Pirates players warming up

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday May 24, 2022. 10:43

Orlando Pirates will begin their chase to finish second on the DStv Premiership log when they host Maritzburg United at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday 24 May 2022, kick-off at 19:30 CAT.

The Buccaneers suffered a heart-breaking penalty shootout defeat at the hands of RS Berkane in the CAF Confederation Cup final this past Friday night.

Their run in the continental competition saw their domestic league campaign put on hold, leaving them with a chance to finish in second place behind Mamelodi Sundowns and earn qualification for next season’s CAF Champions League.

However, they will need to win all three catch-up matches against Maritzburg, Royal AM (on Friday) and SuperSport United (next Monday) to have a chance of claiming the runners-up spot.

Pirates have gone three league matches without a win – and suffered their fifth defeat of the league season – when they were beaten 1-0 at TS Galaxy on May 2.

The Buccaneers have claimed 24 points from 14 home matches this season, with their last result as hosts a 0-0 draw with Chippa United in late April.

Maritzburg, meanwhile, extended their unbeaten run to four matches with 1-0 home win over Baroka FC on May 21 – secured by a goal from Clayton Daniels – which guaranteed top-flight survival.

The Team of Choice has claimed nine points from 14 away matches this season. Their only win on the road was against Baroka FC back in September 2021.

In head-to-head stats, Maritzburg and Pirates have met in 31 league matches since 2005/06. The Buccaneers have claimed 16 wins compared to six for the Team of Choice, while nine matches have been drawn. The Soweto has won eight of their 15 home league matches against their Pietermaritzburg counterparts, suffering two defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, at Harry Gwala Stadium in October 2021, they played out a goalless stalemate. Pirates are unbeaten in their last 10 league matches against Maritzburg.

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