Pirates steal dramatic victory against SuperSport

Orlando Pirates stole a dramatic 3-2 win over SuperSport United in their DStv Premiership clash at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Buccaneers fought back from two goals down thanks to a brace of penalties from Deon Hotto, before Goodman Mosele struck deep in injury time at the end of the game to secure an unlikely victory. The Soweto side move level on points with Kaizer Chiefs, though remain in fourth place and have played four more matches than their arch rivals.

Matsatsantsa, meanwhile, are seventh – six points behind Pirates – and will wonder how they ended up losing this game after going 2-0 up inside the opening 20 minutes.

SuperSport claimed the lead in the seventh minute when a corner kick from Jamie Webber was allowed to pass through a crowd of bodies in the penalty area before being emphatically volleyed home by young defender Kegan Johannes.

The second goal arrived in the 18th minute, with another Webber corner kick picking out an unmarked Ghampani Lungu ahead of the near post – his glancing header flashed past goalkeeper Richard Ofori to make it 2-0 and put the visiting team firmly in charge.

Keenan Phillips almost made it 3-0 with a long-range strike which was tipped over the crossbar by Ofori just past the half-hour mark, while seconds later Pirates spurned a chance to pull a goal back when substitute Abel Mabaso saw his low shot saved by United goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

The Buccaneers did manage to halve the deficit just before the end of regulation time in the first half when Deon Hotto struck home from the spot to make it 2-1. The penalty was awarded for an ill-timed challenge from Johannes on Mabaso.

And another spot kick arrived in injury time before the interval – Johannes was guilty of tripping up Terrence Dzvukamanja in the wake of Bandile Shandu striking the post. Hotto again stepped up and cracked home from 12 yards to see the game level at 2-2 at halftime.

SuperSport almost reclaimed the ascendancy early in the second stanza when another Webber corner kick picked out Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, but his goal-bound header was cleared off the line by Hotto.

SuperSport’s Johannes was very lucky not to concede a third penalty just before the hour mark when he brought down substitute Zakhele Lepasa, while Pirates’ Goodman Mosele arguably should have sent off for a reckless challenge in midfield on Webber – instead he received only a yellow card.

Chances dried up and the game became stop-start through the final third of regulation time, though SuperSport nearly snatched a third goal in the 86th minute when Talent Mbatha’s snap shot almost caught out Ofori, who had to react quickly to ensure Iqraam Rayners did not sweep home the rebound.

A 2-2 draw looked set to be the final result, but Pirates snatched victory with a beautiful long-range effort from Mosele, who curled a shot just inside Williams’s left-hand upright in the fourth minute of injury time.

SuperSport will be back in DStv Premiership action on Saturday 19 March when they face TS Galaxy away from home, while Pirates’ next league encounter is away to Sekhukhune United on Wednesday 6 April.

Orlando Pirates (2) 3 (Hotto 45’ pen 45+3’ pen, Mosele 90+4’)

SuperSport United (2) 2 (Johannes 7’, Lungu 18’)

Orlando Pirates:Ofori, Shandu (Peprah 81’), Ndah, Nyauza, Mako, Monare (Mabaso 17’), Mosele, Makaringe (Ndlovu 81’), Dlamini (Lepasa 59’), Hotto, Dzvukamanja

SuperSport United:Williams, Phillips, Johannes, Ditlhokwe, Ngobeni (Bhasera 90’), Webber, Rasebotja (Soumahoro 89’), Donn (Mbatha 41’), Lungu, Rayners, Gabuza