By Sports Focus Reporter
A wonder goal from Happy Jele in the second half saw Orlando Pirates beat Platinum Stars 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Consequently, the win sees the Buccaneers back on top of the log standings.
It was a blistering start from both sides as they looked to attack from the first whistle which resulted in two goals in the opening ten minutes.
Thereafter, though, the game fell into a bit of a lull as neither team was really able to create much in front of goal after an exciting opening burst to the match.
Pirates were quickest out the blocks and found the game’s first goal as early as the seventh minute.
Some good work down the left flank by Chiukepo Msowoya allowed him to make his way onto the edge of the box before he supplied a pin-point pass to find Isaac Chansa unmarked only a couple of yards out from goal. All he had to do was side-foot the ball into an empty net and he made no mistake, 1-0
Still, the Buccaneers lead didn’t last long as Platinum Stars hit back just three minutes later.
Some more good work down the flank, this time by Stars’ Ayo Oluwafemi, saw him supply a good low cross into the box. Sibusiso Msomi got to the ball ahead of his marker to fire his side level from 12-yards out, 1-1.
Both goals were almost identical and only came about because of some slack defending and lack of concentration in defence.
The only other real chance of the half went the way of the home side in the 24th minute. A long free-kick was chipped into the danger area and Herico Botes rose highest to make contact with his head from ten-yards out, but his effort went narrowly wide of the goal.
Pirates did pile on the pressure in the closing minutes of the half, but they were unable to breach a solid looking Stars defence because of some sloppy passing.
At the start of the second half, however, Pirates did manage to find their second goal and they did so in fantastic fashion.
Four minutes into the second 45 and Happy Jele let loose with a pile-driver of shot from 25-yards out that found the top left-hand corner of the net, 2-0.
The Stars defence just gave him too much time and space and Jele punished them.
After that Stars tried desperately to hit-back and applied pressure on the Buccaneers goal, mounting attack after attack.
Bradley Grobler came close to scoring in the 66th minute for the home team when he fired a powerful shot from the edge of the 18-yard area, but the Pirates keeper was up to the challenge with a fine save diving to his left.
Stars’ substitute Ntumba should really have levelled matters in the 76th minute when he met a cross from the left, but he directed his header wide of the target from only a couple of yards out.
In the end Pirates’ defence held firm and they picked up all three points which sees the Buccaneers back to the top of the Absa Premiership.
Platinum Stars (1) 1 (Msomi 10’)
Orlando Pirates (1) 2 (Chansa 7’, Jele 49’)
Teams Kapini – Mpangase, Thebakeng, Sambu, Msomi (Ntumba 74’), Lobo, Williams, Oluwafeni, Phala, Botes (Nyanda 54’), Grobler (Mongalo 69’)
Pirates: Meyiwa – Jele, Cloete, Mahamutsa, Lekgwathi, Jali, Manyisa, Chansa, Mabalane (Mayambela 86’) , Segolela (Ngobeni 84’), Msowoya (Mashego 46’