Orlando Pirates registered a third straight victory in the DStv Premiership with a 2-0 triumph away to struggling Marumo Gallants on Saturday night.
Result: Marumo Gallants FC 0-2 Orlando Pirates
Date: 28 January 2023
Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium
Pirates made two changes to the side that thrashed Stellenbosch, as Terrence Dzvukamanja got his first start of the season in place of Kermit Erasmus and Paseka Mako was recalled.
The Buccaneers were all over Gallants in the opening exchanges but they were not able to find openings in the dangerous areas and only managed to threaten with crosses into the box.
As the visitors continued to apply the pressure, Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo had a chance on 23 minutes from a loose ball on the edge of the box but he sent his strike wide of Ismael Watenga's goal.
Jose Riveiro's charges finally took the lead nine minutes before the interval after Monnapule Saleng applied the finishing touches from close-range following great work by Dzvukamanja down the left flank.
Bahlabane Ba Ntwa got out of their defensive shell as halftime approached and they threatened to get back into the game but Pirates stood firm to take a narrow lead to the break.
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Dan Malesela's men opened the game up early in the second stanza by going pound for pound with Pirates and they nearly levelled matters eight minutes in after Olivier Toure had a goal-bound shot dragged away by goalkeeper Sipho Chaine.
The Soweto giants had spaces to exploit on transitions and were awarded a penalty on 66 minutes after Mahlatse Makudubela shoved down Bandile Shandu in the box.
Ndlondlo had the courage to take the spot-kick against his former side and doubled Pirates' lead with a low strike into the bottom corner.
Riveiro looked to consolidate the result with 20 minutes remaining, as Goodman Mosele replaced Kabelo Dlamini in a defensive change and eight minutes later Vincent Pule replaced Dzvukamanja for fresh legs in attack.
Pirates threatened to run riot in the dying minutes, as they won their third consecutive game for the first time this season and closed the gap behind second-placed Richards Bay to just two points in fourth place on the log.
Marumo Gallants: 16. Watenga, 18. Nonyane, 45. Toure, 30. Kumalo, 24. Mvelase, 32. Makudubela, 5. Mabotja, 17. Mohomi, 11. Otladisa, 10. Ngema, 8. Chivaviro
Subs: 36. Arubi, 34. Pheko, 23. Mdlinzo, 6. Soumaro, 33. Moseamedi, 15. Mphambaniso, 28. Nkomo, 7. Nku, 12. Khiba
Orlando Pirates: 34. Chaine, 27. Xoki, 5. Sibisi, 29. Mako, 26. Shandu, 16. Monare, 15. Ndlondlo, 11. Hotto, 14. Saleng, 18. Dlamini, 27. Dzvukamanja
Subs: 40. Mpontshane, 50. Mabena, 95. Erasmus, 45. Pule, 9. Nga, 30. Martin, 23. Maela, 20. Mosele, 6. Motshwari
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