Pirates go top with 2-1 win in Polokwane

Vincent Pule © Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates have moved to the top of the Absa Premiership log after they claimed a 2-1 away win over Baroka FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Buccaneers – thanks to first-half goals from Vincent Pule and Thembinkosi Lorch – are placed first with 14 points, while Bakgaga remain rooted in the bottom half of the log with five points from their seven outings.

Pirates created the early running and should have gone ahead as early as the ninth minute when Augustine Mulenga was presented with a clear shooting chance, but he saw his low effort well saved by Baroka’s goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze.

The Buccaneers went close again in the 24 minute when they opened up space for Thembinkosi Lorch to shoot from the edge of the box – his grass-cutter shaved the outside of Chipezeze’s right-hand post.

It seemed only a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ Pirates would claim the lead, and the goal duly arrived in the 32nd minute. Baroka gave Vincent Pule far too much space and time to set his sights from long range, and the Bucs attacker whipped a left-footed shot into the back of the net to put his side in front.

On 38 minutes the Soweto giants made it 2-0, with Baroka’s defence making a pig’s ear of dealing with a relatively simple long pass from Pule – Lorch was allowed to run onto a loose ball in the box and steer it into an empty net from close range.

Baroka very nearly pulled a goal back in the opening minutes of the second half, with midfielder Mduduzi Mdatsane sending a volleyed effort just wide of Siyabonga Mpontshane’s left-hand upright, while the hosts soon made a double change by sending on both Onkabetse Makgantai and Goodman Mosele.

Bakgaga’s attack certainly looked more lively after their changes but they weren’t really able to test Mpontshane, and Pirates held them at bay with relative ease for the most part. However, in the 79th minute the visitors defence went to sleep at a corner kick and allowed substitute Makgantai to score from close range and set up a tense finish.

With memories of their 2-2 draw with Cape Town City in midweek surely haunting them, Pirates were able to avoid giving away a two-goal lead for the second successive time and claimed all three points on offer.

Baroka will return to league action this coming midweek when they host Free State Stars on September 26, while Pirates will only resume their campaign the following week when they welcome Golden Arrows to Orlando Stadium on October 3.

Baroka FC (0) 1 (Makgantai 79’)

Orlando Pirates (2) 2 (Pule 32’, Lorch 38’)

TEAMS:

Baroka: Chipezeze, Kgoetyane, Banda, Makume, Mabeba, Makgaga (Makgantai 53’), Mdatsane, Madubanya (Mosele 52’), Kgaswane, Chawapiwa (Patjie 63’), Chivaviro

Orlando Pirates: Mpontshane, Matlaba (Thopola 65’), Jele, Nyauza, Maela, Mlambo, Motshwari, Mako, Lorch (Mntambo 75’), Mulenga (Nyatama 84’), Pule