Pirates beat Arrows in Durban

Orlando Pirates secured a fourth place finish in the Absa Premiership after beating the already relegated Golden Arrows 3-1 in a match played at the Moses Mabhida on Saturday afternoon.

Kermit Erasmus, Sifiso Myeni and Mpho Makola scored a goal each for the Buccaneers while Bongi Ntuli scored the only goal for the Shaun Bartlett-coached outfit.

Arrows fielded a few of their fringe players with coach Bartlett tweeting in midweek that they have nothing to play for but pride, while they will also be using the opportunity to introduce their unknown youngsters.

Vladimir Vermezovic replaced suspended midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo with defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza in a central midfield role, while Mpho Makola, Daine Klate, Kermit Erasmus continued to lead Bucs’ attack.

Arthur Barman’s long ball was misjudged by Rooi Mahamutsa in Bucs’ defense and striker Bongi Ntuli ceased the opportunity and opened the scoring to give Abafana Bes’thende an early lead in the 5th minute of the game.

Bucs continued with the impetus they showed in their midweek 1-1 draw against Free State Stars, dominating possession from the onset but their failure to convert possession into goals was on display once again.

By the 20th minute, Oupa Manyisa had already sent three attempts at goal from range but none could trouble Barthman.

Bucs’ first shot on target came in the 26th minute when Erasmus forced Bartman to dive low to his left.

Four minutes later Erasmus managed to beat Bartman when he drilled in from Klate’s pass to draw Pirates level.

At the stroke of halftime, Klate sent a fierce effort in but Bartman did well to tip it over. Mahamutsa's header from the resultant corner sailed over.

Both sides rang changes at the beginning of the second-stanza with Arrows replacing Nkanyiso Mngwengwe with Vuyisile Ntombayithethi; Pirates withdrew Klate for Ndumiso Mabena.

But it was Pirates who got going first as a neat move in the 50th minute saw Mpho Makola waits for Myeni to arrive before he laid a well weighed pass for the midfielder to slot home, 1-2 to Pirates.

Arrows thought they’d equalized but their effort was rightly chalked for offside.

Bartman was once again called upon in the 71rd minute, Makola seemed to have rushed his effort in a 3-on-1 situation and the veteran short stopper did well to collect.

Two minutes later, Makola did well to make amends for his previous error. The midfielder did well to break the defensive line, before he collected Erasmus' pass to calmly slot home Pirates’ third.

Arrows were awarded a penalty minutes afterwards after Nyauza fouled Ntuli, but Ntuli was denied by Senzo Meyiwa in the Bucs’ goal.

Arrows’ leaky defence was again the highlight of the match, the three goals they conceded took their tally to 50-goals conceded.

Golden Arrows: (1) 1 (Ntuli 5’)

Orlando Pirates: (1) 3 (Erasmus 30’, Myeni 50’, Makola 75’)

Arrows: Bartman, Zwane, Mathiane, Sibeko, Cele, Bester (Sibiya 53’), Ntuli, Mndungane, Sikhakhane, Mngwengwe (Ntombayithethi 46’), Katongo (Polelo 66’).

Pirates: Meyiwa, Gumede, Matlaba, Lekgwathi, Mahamutsa, Nyauza, Manyisa, Myeni (Masuku 57’), Makola, Erasmus, Klate (Mabena 46’).