Pirates edge Sundowns 1-0

2014-02-25 22:14

Orlando Pirates finally returned to winning ways following a lone goal from Khethowakhe Masuku, as they edged hosts Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in a Premiership derby at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

The win brought an end to a dismal month in which Pirates suffered two defeats and a stalemate as the chase for league honours seemed to evade the Soweto giants.

The losses included a defeat to Sundowns a fortnight ago, when Downs walked away with a 1-0 win at Orlando Stadium on February 8.

Tonigh, Masuku's 37th minute decider proved enough as Pirates showed signs of the kind of form which saw them compete in the final of the Caf Champions League in November last year.

Pirates managed to subdue the Brazilians as the opening quarter passed without any clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities.

Despite a frantic opening, neither side was able to come up with the necessary creativity in the final third as chances went a-begging.

Downs' Rodney Ramagalela was the first to test the goalkeeper as he drilled an effort from range and forced Senzo Meyiwa into a good save as he tipped the shot over the bar and out of danger on the half-hour mark.

The Buccaneers had plans of their own and eight minutes from the interval, Masuku tapped home to hand the visitors the breakthrough.

Helder Pelembe showed great skill on the far side as he beat three defenders on his way to delivering a superb ball into the area, before Masuku snuck behind the defensive line and side-footed a simple finish into the back of the net.

Sundowns had their best chance on the stroke of half-time when Hlompho Kekana was denied a free-kick strike by Meyiwa, who parried away the shot and sent the ball out for a corner.

After the break, Sundowns threatened early in the second period but saw Ramagalela's effort pushed narrowly wide of the mark as the home side went in search of the equaliser.

The Brazilians were at it again 10 minutes from the end when Ramagalela hit a low effort goalwards, only for Meyiwa to make another fine save to deny the hosts the goal that would have taken them level.

In the end, Sundowns would be denied the opportunity of closing the gap on log-leading Kaizer Chiefs to six points, as Pirates walked away worthy winners in front of an impressive packed house in the capital city.

Meanwhile, Wits clinched a 3-2 win over SuperSport United with Sibusiso Vilakazi scoring a hat-trick. The win lifts Wits into third place.

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