Pirates celebrate first win under Vermezovic, Chiefs fall to Stars

2014-03-12 22:04

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Vladimir Vermezovic made the perfect start to his tenure as coach of Orlando Pirates as the Buccaneers edged Soweto neighbours Moroka Swallows 1-0 in their Premiership clash at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.

Having received his work permit and cleared to take charge of his first game on South African shores in almost two years, Vermezovic watched on tonight as Kermit Erasmus netted an early first half goal which proved the difference and guided Pirates to a tough victory on a soggy Dobsonville pitch.

The win was enough the see Pirates up to fourth position in the league standings, bouncing back from a shock defeat to the University of Pretoria last weekend.

Pirates shot out the gate and had their first chance as early as the fifth minute, denied only by the woodwork, as Erasmus rattled the upright and came dangerously close to taking the lead.

The crafty former SuperSport United attacker would not make the same mistake four minutes later, however, curling a right-footed effort past goalkeeper Greg Etafia, after finding himself in acres of space on the edge of the area and dispatching his effort goalwards.

Swallows struggled to find a way into the game and were kept largely to their own half by the Buccaneers, who dominated possession and looked in control as the game edged towards half-time.

Leading at the break, Pirates began the second period much the way they did the first, this time Helder Pelembe glancing the upright from distance, as Swallows again found the opening exchanges tough to handle after the interval.

The Sea Robbers kept up the pressure as Majoro entered the pitch on 68 minutes, before getting his first shot on target six minutes later, but was well blocked inside the area.

Ayanda Gcaba should have made it two from the subsequent corner, but the defender somehow managed to push his shot wide, letting Swallows off the hook late in the game.

Swallows could have salvaged a point at the death, but they too were denied by the post, as Siyabonga Nomvethe saw his deflected touch nick the upright and bounce away harmlessly four minutes from the end.

Senzo Meyiwa was then on hand in stoppage time to parry Nomvethe's powerful header up and away as Swallows saw their final chance go a-begging in front of their home supporters.

In the end, Swallows had to make do with no points, extending their run of games without a win to seven, and continue to look for their first win of 2014.

Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs lost their first league match in 16 as Platinum Stars produced an excellent display of attacking football to win 2-0 in their clash at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace tonight.

Goals from Siphelele Mthembu and Robert Ng’ambi gave Dikwena the victory and while Chiefs had their chances, they found home goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane in uncompromising mood.

The home side were ahead inside 10 minutes when Ng’ambi played Mthembu in on goal and the forward rounded Reyaard Pieterse in the Amahhosi goal to score.

Siphiwe Tshabalala was lively all night and he flashed an effort from the edge of the area wide after a neat one-two with George Lebese.

Chiefs almost found the equaliser just two minutes from the break when Tshabalala’s corner was flicked on by Katlego Mphela and Tefu Mashamaite’s volley crashed onto the underside of the crossbar.

Morgan Gould had a free header from yet another set-piece, but he guided it straight at Mpontshane and minutes later Stars had their second.

Lindokuhle Mbatha provided a magnificent cross from the right that was headed home by Ng’ambi on 59 minutes.

Next up for Chiefs is the Soweto derby against Pirates on Saturday, while Stars are only in action again next Wednesday at SuperSport United.

In other results tonight, Bloemfontein Celtic edged Polokwane City 2-1 and Mpumalanga Black Aces held their composure to beat Premiership bottom feeders Golden Arrows 2-1.

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