United add to Bucs' growing woes

2014-04-06 14:00

SuperSport United injected another dose of misery into Orlando Pirates’ indifferent season with a month before the culmination of the current Absa Premiership campaign.

The victory for United – the second over Pirates this season – eased pressure in their quest for a top-eight finish and also halted a winless four-match streak for coach Cavin Johnson.

United, who plummeted down the rankings after a decent start to the season, also added gloss to a poor home run that had five wins in 11 league matches prior to yesterday’s fixture.

For Pirates, coach Vladimir Vermezovic’s third defeat – in six matches in charge – left the former champions seven points behind Bidvest Wits on the third place.

Pirates were a more promising team in the second half but indecisiveness in the third half let them down.

In fact, the game replicated the first round clash between the two sides in Soweto which United won 2-1 courtesy of headed goals in the second half.

Even yesterday, there was a sense of de javu as this game produced a rather dull opening half as each side hardly utilised the few chances that came their way.

The home side had three opportunities at goal inside the opening 20 minutes of the tie, but Dino Ndlovu and Thuso Phala gave Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa the easiest of tasks to smother them.

Meyiwa was reinstalled in goal in the place of Fatau Dauda who manned the post in the Buccaneers’ 1-0 loss to Mpumalanga Black Aces midweek.

The notable change was one of the seven that Vermezovic rang in his starting eleven yesterday, including the return of defender Patrick Phungwayo who spent almost six months on the sidelines nursing an achilles tendon injury.

Phungwayo, who was deployed at left-back in the place of Thabo Matlaba, made an impression with his forays and also minimised the impact of United’s normally dangerous attacker Lebogang Manyama on the right flank.

Phungwayo however, could not do the same surveillance on Phala after a switch in positions with Manyama as the speedy winger found the way down the flank to set Bradley Grobler for the United goal in the 74th minute.

Pirates are now left with Bidvest Wits and Platinum Stars, the two sides that are in the top eight.

United on the other hand, hold the key to the Premiership title as they still have to face pacesetters Bidvest Wits on April 19 and Mamelodi Sundowns on April 26. .In another match Bidvest Wits defeated Mpumalanga Black Aces 2-1 at Mbombela Stadium.

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