Galaxy dent Pirates' top two hopes in DStv Premiership

TS Galaxy claimed a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates in the DStv Premiership match at the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The win took the Rockets to eighth place on the league standings, while the Buccaneers remained fourth on the log - four points behind second-placed AmaZulu FC with two games in left.

It took only three minutes for Galaxy attacker Masilake Phohlongo to score his second goal against Pirates in the current season having also netted in the first round 1-1 draw in January 2021.

The Buccaneers failed to clear Ebrahim Seedat's quality cross from the left and Phohlongo pounced and scored with a header to hand Galaxy a 1-0 lead.

Pirates pushed for the equalizing goal and they came very close to scoring when Frank Mhango controlled the ball in the box, before unleashing a shot that hit the upright three minutes before the half-hour mark.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors in the 31st minute when Abel Mabaso was sent off after receiving his second yellow card of the game and Pirates were reduced to 10 players.

However, Pirates continued to attack and the hosts also went a man down after Given Msimango was red-carded having picked up his second caution of the game just before half-time and the score was 1-0 to Galaxy at the interval.

Deon Hotto was introduced by Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer prior to the start of the second-half and he nearly grabbed an assist when he set-up Mhango, who was brilliantly denied by goalkeeper Marlon Heugh in the 48th minute.

Heugh became a busy man as he reacted quickly and finger-tipped Hotto's curling effort over the crossbar, before pulling off a magnificent diving save to deny Wayde Jooste as Pirates piled pressure on the hosts.

Thembinkosi Lorch had a chance to restore parity after he pounced following a mistake by the Galaxy defence in the 69th minute, but somehow the Pirates attacker placed his shot wide of the target from inside the box.

Former Pirates head coach Owen Da Gama introduced Mlungisi Mbunjana with 16 minutes left as the hosts looked to regain control of the encounter and see out the match.

The hosts defended very well in the closing proceedings and ultimately, the match ended in a 1-0 victory in favour of Galaxy on the day.

Galaxy (1) 1 (Phohlongo 3')
Pirates (0) 0

Galaxy: Heugh, Seedat, Sanoka, Msimango, Nyama (Mogaila 46'), Brooks, Phohlongo (Modisane 59'), Nduli, Mahlangu (Munyai 46'), Mbatha (Mbunjana 74'), Macuphu (Lekay 90'+3).

Pirates: Mpontshane, Nyauza, Maela, Mako (Sam 68'), Jooste, Zungu (Ndlovu 38'), Monare, Mabaso, Dlamini (Hotto 46'), Pule (Lorch 68'), Mhango (Dzvukamanja 79').