Absa Premiership

Matlaba steers Pirates past Tuks

Thabo Matlaba (Supplied)
Thabo Matlaba (Supplied)

Cape Town - Thabo Matlaba scored the only goal of the game as Orlando Pirates beat the University of Pretoria 1-0 in their Absa Premiership clash at Tuks Stadium on Saturday. 

The Bafana Bafana fullback finished off a swift move halfway through the second-half to propel the Soweto giants up to seventh place on the log standings. 

A third game without a win for Shaun Bartlett as Tuks head coach leaves the Tshwane side languishing in the relegation play-off spot, an added blow being that both relegation rivals , Maritzburg United and Jomo Cosmos, suffered defeats. 

The home side were on the back foot from the get go and were lucky not to concede in the early exchanges. 

First, Washington Arubi made a top save with his feet to keep out Thabo Matlaba's deflected effort, before Mpho Makola rattled the crossbar with a powerful drive from range.

Tuks continued to weather the Buccaneers storm, with Arubi putting up a masterful display, moving to his left to deny Thamsanqa Gabuza on the stroke of half-time. 

At the other end of the park, Thabo Mnyamane was a one-man threat.  The brace in midweek against Free State Stars rejuvenated the Bafana Bafana striker, who was unlucky to see his right-footed shot on 67 minutes bounce just wide. 

Pirates took the lead soon after, Matlaba firing home following a lung-busting run down the left flank.

Mnyamane had a chance to level matters in stoppage time, but could only succeed in sending his snap shot straight at a grateful Brighton Mhlongo in the Pirates goal.

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