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.