Bucs prevail, but only just

2010-08-28 00:00

A TOUGH away game against newly-promoted Vasco da Gama ended in three points for Orlando Pirates as they recorded a 2-1 win at the Cape Town Stadium last night.

It was an open and action-packed 90 minutes — and a perfect advertisement for Absa Premiership football at its best — in front of a 45 000 plus crowd.

Both sides made purposeful starts, but the visiting team posed more of a threat in attack.

However, Sibusiso Zuma was busy for Vasco early on, always a willing runner and at times combining nicely with the likes of Keenin Lesch.

And it was the former Bucs favourite who broke the deadlock, forcing home a 22nd-minute header at the back post after the Pirates defence had gone to sleep at a Omar Hendricks corner.

Pirates’ response was fast and effective: they set up camp in and around the Vasco box and swung in a series of free kicks and corners.

The Cape side did well to keep Bucs at bay, but eventually something had to give and in the 32nd minute Lucky Lekgwathi got aerial to score from close range after a goal-mouth scramble.

Vasco, however, did not let the setback dampen their spirits and they ended the half strongly with several forays into the Pirates’ box.

The second half was perhaps even better than what had certainly been an entertaining opening 45 minutes.

The visiting team had some good chances early on, but striker Ndumiso Mabena did not have his shooting boots on, putting a header wide and then not able to beat Jason Barnard from close range.

Vasco also played their part in a superb game of football and they were close with efforts from Lesch and Zuma, both players going narrowly wide from range.

The Buccaneers struck the killer blow in the 68th minute, Isaac Chansa scoring what turned out to be the winning goal when he confidently volleyed home a low cross from Tlou Segolela.

To Vasco’s credit, they refused to give in, and with the large home crowd giving them ample support, the Cape side pushed hard in the closing stages of the game to find an equaliser.

It was ever so close to materialising five minutes from time when substitute Bradley August glanced a header goalwards.

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