Cape Town City outclass Buccaneers

The Citizens played almost two thirds of the game with 10 men following the first-half dismissal of Mpho Makola, but such was the Buccaneers’ lack of fluency and organisation that they never really threatened a comeback until a frenetic finale in which City’s defence held firm under pressure.

The result sees the Cape side climb to seventh on the log with 36 points, while the Soweto giants remain in fifth with 43 points.

City created the first really threatening moment just past the quarter hour mark when a deflected effort required a composed header away from the danger area by Pirates veteran Happy Jele.

Seconds later the Buccaneers had their first highlight in attack when they won the ball in midfield and pushed forward through Thembinkosi Lorch, whose low shot skipped wide of the target.

The Cape side spurned a good chance on the half-hour mark when Edmilson’s left-wing cross was nodded back into the danger area by Tashreeq Morris to find Mduduzi Mdantsane, who stabbed a shot off target.

City were soon reduced to 10 men, with midfielder (and former Pirates player) Mpho Makola picking up a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Lorch, leaving the hosts with a player less from the 33rd minute.

Yet it was CTC which claimed the lead on the stroke of half time, taking advantage of some sloppy defending from Pirates. Thamsanqa Mkhize provided a fine cross from the right and Kermit Erasmus scored with a stooping header at the far post, having arrived from the blind side of fullback Thabiso Monyane.

Pirates made a double change at the start of the second half, introducing Kabelo Dlamini and Siphesihle Ndlovu off the bench, while their first effort at levelling the game arrived in the 59th minute when Vincent Pule struck from long range but was denied by a fine save from Peter Leeuwenburg.

City, despite their numerical disadvantage, had a couple of great chances to extend their lead. Erasmus was denied one-on-one by goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands with just over 20 minutes to play, while the same forward had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside call a short while later.

The hosts needed Leeuwenburgh to make a couple of good saves in the dying minutes, with wave upon wave of Pirates attacks repelled by the men in blue, who held out for a deserved three-point haul which boosts their hopes of a top-eight finish.

Both teams will return to Premiership action on Saturday 29 August, with Pirates at home to SuperSport United at Ellis Park and City away to Golden Arrows at the same venue later in the day.

Cape Town City (1) 1 (Erasmus 45+3’)
Orlando Pirates 0

City: Leeuwenburgh, Mkhize, Fielies, Mobara, Edmilson, Nodada, Mdantsane (Mokeke 59’), Makola, Ralani (Kewuti 80’), Morris (Martin 69’), Erasmus (Lakay 79’)

Pirates: Sandilands, Jele, Nyauza, Maela, Mako (Dlamini 46’), Zungu (Mntambo 73’), Motshwari, Monyane (Ndlovu 46’), Pule (Mhango 62’), Lorch, Mabasa (Memela 62’)