Absa Premiership match report Orlando Pirates v Highlands Park 18 January 2020


Two changes for Pirates saw Bongani Sam and Paseka Mako starting in place of the suspended Vincent Pule and Innocent Maela respectively.

The Buccaneers were off to a perfect start when a long ball from Happy Jele found Thembinkosi Lorch, who got behind Bevan Fransman to find the bottom near corner after six minutes.

Gabadinho Mhango joined the party five minutes later when he intercepted a back pass from Luckyboy Mokoena to round Kyle Peters for his 12th goal of the campaign.

Wayne Sandilands kept the visitors at bay in the final minute of the half with a point-blank save from Rodney Ramagalela’s attempt as Highlands threatened to pull one back.

However, Mako gave the Buccaneers a third a couple of minutes later when he ran to the edge of the area to drill into the bottom corner following an interplay with Mhango.

Pirates were in the mood for more after halftime, but Peters miraculously denied Mhango a brace with a strong save.

At the other end, Sandilands showed strong reflexes with back-to-back one-handed saves from a probable own-goal by Abel Mabaso and Ramagalela’s near post header off a corner after 71 minutes.

Sandilands was finally beaten with ten minutes to go after Mlungisi Mbunjana retrieved possession in midfield before unleashing a long-range stunner into the top corner.

Luvuyo Memela should’ve restored his side’s three goal advantage in the last three minutes, but his low shot hit the far post as the Buccaneers sealed victory regardless.

Pirates: Sandilands, Sam, Jele, Nyauza, Mako, Motshwari, Makaringe, Mabaso, Memela, Mhango, Lorch.

Subs: Delle, Ndengane, Mntambo, Monyane, Dube, Dlamini, Mabasa.

Highlands: Peters, Mokoena, Mbhele, Fransman, Mzava, Mbatha, Ramoraka, Letsholonyane, Shalulile, Mvala, Ramagalela.

Subs: Kapini, T. Mbatha, Motsepe, Mogaila, Jooste, Msane, Mbunjana.