Orlando Pirates have returned to winning form in the DStv Premiership after they defeated Golden Arrows 3-1 at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

The Buccaneers had not managed a second-half goal in the league all season. But they struck twice in injury time at the end of the game to secure a first win since mid-October and move to fifth place on the log on 22 points.

Abafana Bes’thende, meanwhile, slumped to a second defeat in three and are ninth on the log on 19 points.

BIG BOOST FOR ORLANDO PIRATES

The Buccaneers did at least break a three-game losing streak with the stalemate. But Jose Riveiro’s side has now managed just one win from their last eight league outings.  They find themselves in seventh spot on 20 points, literally half the points tally of league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns in the same number of matches.

Arrows nearly took the lead with just 20 seconds on the clock after Knox Mutizwa picked up a poor back pass and fired a left-footed drive on target, but Pirates goalkeeper Sipho Chaine made a sharp one-handed save.

The hosts shrugged off that early scare and gradually took control of the match, notably creating a fine chance for Kermit Erasmus just before the midway point of the first half, but his effort was smothered one-on-one by Arrows’ Sifiso Mlungwana.

SALENG SHINES FOR THE BUCCANEERS

Yet the Buccaneers claimed the lead on 28 minutes, with Bandile Shandu rifling in a low cross which found Monnapule Saleng, who edged ahead of his marker and stabbed home a first-time shot at the near post to make it 1-0.

The Soweto giants were inches away from a second goal in the 34th minute, as Thabang Monare met a corner kick delivery and saw his header flash just wide of the far post.

Orlando Pirates v Golden Arrows
Orlando Pirates v Golden Arrows

A goal up at the break, Pirates and Saleng should have doubled their tally in the opening seconds of the second half, as Deon Hotto’s low cross picked out the young forward, who blazed over with the goal gaping just a few metres ahead of him.

Pirates were made to pay for this miss midway through the second stanza when Abafana Bes’thende claimed an equaliser: Mutizwa did great work to tee up substitute Velemseni Ndwandwe, whose shot deflected off a defender, wrong-footed the goalkeeper and found the back of the net for 1-1.


BUCS SUBSTITUTION IMPACT 

The match looked set to end 1-1, but Pirates struck in the second minute of injury time through substitute Terrence Dzvukamanja, who netted with a diving header from Saleng’s cross.

And another substitute, Vincent Pule, made it 3-1 two minutes later, firing home a left-footed drive from the edge of the box as the hosts capitalised on Arrows throwing numbers forward in a desperate attempt to get back in the game.

The teams will return to DStv Premiership action next weekend, with Arrows hosting KwaZulu-Natal rivals Maritzburg United on Saturday 21 January, while Pirates will welcome Stellenbosch FC the following day.

Nedbank and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) conducted the draw for the 2023 Nedbank Cup last 32 round on Thursday evening.

The draw saw some exciting fixtures in what promises to be an entertaining Nedbank Cup this season.

“We are excited to kick off the 16th edition of the Nedbank Cup, a great feature on the South African knockout football calendar,” says Khensani Nobanda, Group Executive of Marketing and Communications at Nedbank.

EXCITING TIMES FOR SA BIIGEST KNOCKOUT COMPETITION

“The 2023 season provides yet another opportunity for amateur teams to compete with the best in local football and showcase their talent. As Nedbank, our aim is to continue supporting the growth and development of local football.

“To show our commitment, in collaboration with the 2023 Nedbank Cup winners, we will install our eighth multipurpose sport court in a school and community where the winning club is based. Our goal for the sport court is to help develop skills and provide a facility that encourages more participation in football and other sports,” she said.

Thato Moeng and Khensani Nobanda
Thato Moeng and Khensani Nobanda

“We’d like to thank our longstanding partner, the PSL, for their support and efforts in successfully launching the 2023 season. Best of luck to all the teams participating this year.”

The competition has entered its 16th edition after a successful partnership between Nedbank and the PSL.

“The Nedbank Cup is known for its inspiring stories and giving a platform for raw talent to flourish, and as the PSL, we are excited about what is in store this season,” said PSL Acting CEO, Mato Madlala.

“We would like to thank Nedbank for their continued support which has helped us grow and improve the beautiful game over the past 16 years. We are thrilled to welcome the eight clubs from the SAFA divisions who will have a wonderful opportunity to compete against the 24 clubs from the professional ranks,” she added.

Nedbank Cup trophy
Nedbank Cup trophy

NEDBANK CUP ROUND OF 32 DRAW:

SuperSport United v Dondol Stars FC

Golden Arrows v Pretoria Callies

Marumo Gallants v Magesi FC

FC Blackcross v Venda Football Academy

Mamelodi Sundowns v Richards Bay FC

Cape Town Spurs v Baroka FC

 TS Galaxy v Amavarara FC

Sekhukhune United v Liver Brothers

Stellenbosch FC v Swallows FC

Mpheni Home Defenders v Clarewood FC

Mkhambathi FC v Casric Stars

Cape Town City v Royal AM

Maritzburg United v Kaizer Chiefs

All Stars FC v Orlando Pirates

Polokwane City v Chippa United

AmaZulu FC v Tornado FC

Limpopo ABC Motsepe League side Emmanuel FC have confirmed the departure of former Orlando Pirates defender Ayanda Gcaba.

Ayanda Gcaba has been part of the Giyani-based club since the beginning of the season.

Gcaba has played for clubs such as Free State Stars, Platinum Stars, Royal Eagles as well as Jomo Cosmos. He has also featured two times for Bafana Bafana.

AYANDA GCABA DEPARTURE EXPLAINED

Emmanuel released a statement on Monday, confirming Ayanda Gcaba has left alongside other players.

“The club has since released the following players: Kabila, Fumani Zama-Zama, Ncovi Muhluri, Ayanda Qcaba, Xolile, Lucky (Musina), Lunghisani,” the club wrote on their Facebook page.

Ayanda Gcaba in action for Orlando Pirates
Ayanda Gcaba in action for Orlando Pirates

“Our next game against Vondwe XI Bullets will be played on Saturday, 21 January 2023.

“Cascar, Musa Valungu, Brothers Pat Mashimbye and Oscar Khosa won two big tournaments in December 2022 and will continue to drive the bench alongside Coach Zungu until the end of 2022/2023 season,” they said.

“They also form part of the Executive Management as an additional member, General Manager, Team Manager and Transport Manager respectively.”

“Wha, Sindisiwe, Tata, Bafana, Lucky boy, Gomez, Jomo, Thobani and Phemelo aka King Monada are expected to join our local players who brought glory to the team. We congratulate our local players under the leadership of King Julius and Black Cat Douglas Guyu. We salute the unconditional love from Lesley, Peter, Scara and Mavijo, they are true Emmanuel FC faithful.”

“Tournament Strikers Websley from Phalaborwa and Sir Bafana from Shimange Village will be registered as our new players.”

EMMANUEL FC LEAGUE FORM

Emmanuel are currently sixth on the Limpopo ABC Motsepe League stream A. They have nine points from the opening seven matches.

The club is not yet free from relegation as they are only two points above the bottom-placed Mikhado FC.

They are a bit far from log leaders Mpheni Home Defenders. Home Defenders are on 21 points, 12 points above Emmanuel.

Orlando Pirates midfielder Ntsako Makhubela has re-joined Golden Arrows on a season-long loan.

The move was confirmed by the KwaZulu Natal side on Wednesday.

Abafana Bes’thende confirmed Makhubela has signed until the end of the 2022/23 season.

ORLANDO PIRATES OFFLOAD NTSAKO MAKHUBELA

Makhubela returns to familiar surroundings as he spent three seasons with Arrows from 2019 to 2021.

After a successful spell in Durban, Makhubela joined Pirates, but became an unhappy camper when he suffered limited game time. The 28-year-old midfielder is a Pirates development product.

He only managed 13 DStv Premiership appearances in his one and half stay at the Buccaneers.

It remains to be seen if Makhubela will return to Pirates at the end of his loan move or if Arrows will push for a permanent stay.

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena insists they are taking one game at a time despite the great run of form. 

Sundowns have only lost once in their last 14 matches in all competitions. That was in the MTN8 semifinal against Orlando Pirates at Peter Mokaba Stadium. 

They have now gone eight matches without dropping any point in the DStv Premiership, conceding just one goal in the process. 

“We just have to go one game at a time. That’s what we are doing,” said coach Rhulani Mokwena. 

“We are just going one game at a time trying to do our best to continue to win. So far eight in a row. Conceded one in eight. Everybody thinks it’s easy and that’s when it’s actually very difficult. 

Rhulani Mokwena of Sundowns
Rhulani Mokwena of Sundowns

“I can not not speak about it if I don’t mention how impressed and proud of the players I am as they coach,” he said. 

RHULANI MOKWENA PROUD OF HIS PLAYERS 

“I am proud of this group and huge kudos. I hope that’s what makes the headlines for the next two days that Rulani is proud of the Sundowns players and not the other staff because the game of football belongs to the players.” 

CONDOLENCES TO PETER MANCER 

Mokwena also paid his last respects to the late Premier Soccer League marketing advisor Peter ‘Squire’ Mancer who passed away earlier this week. 

“Sincere condolences once again to the Peter Mancer family and the South African football fraternity at large. I was fortunate enough to have a few interactions with him and what an incredible gentleman.

“Flamboyant and with presence. That’s why they say good human beings of legends don’t die. Their spirit continues to live in the hearts and the memories of those who they have touched. That is why each and every single one of you can come up with superlites,” he said. 

By Khotso Ramalatswa

Mamelodi Sundowns beat rivals Orlando Pirates by 2-0 in a DStv Premiership clash at Loftus Versfeld stadium on Friday afternoon.

It was the first league match since the recent FIFA World Cup break in South African domestic football.

Mamelodi Sundowns, who are the log leaders, opened the scoring through a Mothobi Mvala header in the 41st minute. The two teams went into the half time break with the score at 1-0 in favour of Sundowns.

The hosts continued where they left off in the second half with substitute Cassius Mailula increasing the lead in the 63rd minute.

Mamelodi Sundowns v Pirates
Mamelodi Sundowns v Pirates

Masandawana continued to create more chances but were unfortunate not to increase the lead even further.

MAMELODI SUNDOWNS DOMINANCE  

The win means Sundowns have increased their lead at the top of the log by eight points. They currently have 31 points from 13 matches. Second placed Richards Bay are second on 23 points.

Pirates on the other hand remain on position five with 19 points from 14 matches. They are 12 points behind Masandawana.

Orlando Pirates next match is away to Cape Town City on Saturday, 7 January. Sundowns will take on Swallows on Tuesday, 3 January. 

Maritzburg United have completed the signing of former Orlando Pirates defender Wayde Jooste on a free transfer.

The Port Elizabet born player had joined Pirates from Highlands Park in October 2020 but was released ahead of the current season.

WAYDE JOOSTE REUNITES WITH DAVIDS

However, he has now linked up with former Bucs co-head coach Fadlu David’s at the Team of Choice.

Jooste had also spent time training with SuperSport United before reuniting with his former coach.

The 31-year-old could make his competitive debut against TS Galaxy tomorrow.

Soweto giants Orlando Pirates have confirmed the signings of two new players ahead of the second round of the season. 

The Buccaneers are currently fifth in the DStv Premiership after 13 matches played. 

On Thursday, the club announced the arrival of Craig Martin from Cape Town City. The 29-year-old joins on a two and a half year deal. 

Ndumiso Mabena has also signed on a one and a half year deal. 

Mabena has been training with the club since his departure at Royal AM. 

ORLANDO PIRATES STATEMENT ON NEW PLAYERS 

“Orlando Pirates Football Club is pleased to announce the signing of Ndumiso Mabena and Craig Martin.

Mabena returned to the place he called home between 2009 and 2014 before going on to play for Platinum Stars, Bloemfontein Celtic and then recently Royal AM. The 35 year old joins the Buccaneers on a one and a half season deal.

Meanwhile, the flying wing back Craig Martin will be joining the Soweto Giants in January following an agreement between the Buccaneers and Cape Town City for an undisclosed fee.

The 29 year old signed on the dotted line today for a two and a half season deal.

Gauteng High Court Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela has postponed the murder trial of former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.

This follows a decision by two of the accused to change their legal representatives. Advocate Sipho Ramosepele will now take over from advocate TT Thobane for the said accused.

This has forced the court to adjourn on Monday and postponed the case for six months.

SENZO MEYIWA CASE POSTPONED

“Now because this case had already started proceedings, Mr Ramosepele certainly needs time to familiarize himself with all that has transpired from the beginning of the trial. For that reason, we cannot proceed as we had intended to proceed today,” Maumela told the court.

“Ramosepele will have to be provided with a transcript of all proceeds from the beginning. He will also need time to look into the docket. To familiarize himself with the transcript of all proceedings from the beginning,” he added.

Senzo Meyiwa
Senzo Meyiwa

“For that reason, as I indicated we are not going to proceed. This case was to proceed until the end of next week. That will no longer happen because Mr Ramosepele is also not available next week.

NEW DATES

“This case is postponed to the 2nd of May 2023. It is postponed with the understanding that we reconvene and we shall proceed from the 2nd to the 26th of May 2023,” he announced.

A new witness was expected to take the stand on Monday in the trial.

Last week, Meyiwa’s childhood friend Tumelo Madlala left the witness box in tears. This is after enduring three weeks in the witness box. Madlala said that accused number two Bongani Ntanzi is one of the alleged intruders.

He’s also denied protecting anyone in the house. The Meyiwa trial against five men accused of the Bafana Bafana captain’s murder.

It has now taken the State seven months to get through three of its witnesses. It includes two police officers and an eyewitness.

Tournament debutants Mamelodi Sundowns crushed Orlando Pirates 4-0 to lift the Carling Cup at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Goals by Sphelele Mkhulise, Grant Kekana and Cassius Mailula powered the Brazilian to a comprehensive win over Pirates. A team that knocked them out of the MTN8.

It was the Brazilians who found their footing early in the match. Forward Bradley Ralani being denied by Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.

Mamelodi Sundowns players
Mamelodi Sundowns players

Pirates suffered a massive blow after 21 minutes when defender Tapelo Xoki was shown red by referee Abongile Tom for a rough challenge on Haashim Domingo who was stretchered off the field to be replaced by Mailula who went on to demolish the Bucs.

DOWNS CLICH FIRST CARLING CUP

With this comprehensive victory, Sundowns finished the tournament with a total of seven goals and two clean sheets.