Orlando Pirates suffer second loss

Orlando Pirates suffered their second consecutive loss in the Absa Premiership after going down 1-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic in a league match at Free State Stadium on Sunday.

It was a slow start to the game with both sides squandering possession in the final third which resulted in chances in front of goal being at a minimum.

The first decent scoring opportunity came in the 15th minute when Innocent Maela made some space for himself on the edge of the box, but his shot sailed inches over the Celtic crossbar.

Three minutes later though Celtic took the lead after a header from Alfred Ndengane at a corner-kick struck the woodwork. This resulted in a goalmouth scramble before Bongani Sam poked the ball home from close range.

Pirates nearly drew level in the 22nd minute when a left-sided free-kick found Thamsanqa Gabuza unmarked at the back post, but his effort skimmed the wrong side of the post.

Gabuza turned provider five minutes before the break when he played Mpho Makola in behind the defence, but with just the keeper to beat the Pirates man fired over the crossbar.

The Buccaneers dictated terms at the start of the second half, but they struggled to create any significant goalscoring chances.

On the hour mark Gabuza got onto the end of an accurate right-wing cross, but his ten-yard header went narrowly wide of the Celtic goal.

Celtic came close to finding a second in the 78th minute when a long-range shot from Ryan de Jongh went just wide of the target.

Pirates almost rescued a point at the death when Happy Jele met a corner-kick with a powerful header, but his effort was cleared off the goal line by a Celtic defender as the match ended 1-0 in favour of the home side.

Bloemfontein Celtic1

Sam 18’

Orlando Pirates 0

Teams

Celtic: Tignyemb, Sam, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Mabena (Letsoalo 76’), Mashikinya, Potsane, Gordinho, Dlamini (De Jongh 69’), Phalane, Mabasa (Baloyi 57’).

Pirates: Mpontshane, Jele, Munetsi, Maphanga (Shonga 58’), Maela, Matlaba, Mlambo (Maphangule 68’), Motshwari, Makola (Mahlonoko 79’), Pule, Gabuza.