Pirates stun Sundowns to move second
Orlando Pirates only added more pain to Sundowns’ crisis by beating the Brazilians 3-1 at the Loftus Versfield Stadium on Wednesday night to see them slip to the bottom of the Absa Premiership table.
Sundowns got off to the brighter start right from the whistle where they immediately threatened at goal with a Teko Modise free-kick which inched just over the crossbar six minutes in.
The Buccaneers had a moment of brilliance when they grabbed the lead six minutes later, against the run of play, when Thulasizwe Mbuyane tapped home an effort from close range after a well placed cross into the box, 1-0.
Things were starting to get frustrating for the Brazilians as they continued to maintain the majority of the possession, but were unable to finish off their chances.
The fans started to voice their irritation towards Eleazar Rodgers in particular by jeering him and calling for an early substitution.
The defence has been a major concern for Sundowns all season long and it continued to be when they were left exposed after some great one-two passing before Takesure Chinyama curled an effort, on the edge of the D, past Wayne Sandilands just before the break, 2-0.
Johan Neeskens opted to stick with the same eleven who started the first half and it was Pirates who once again threatened at goal when Daine Klate struck a diagonal ball to the near post, but it was well saved by Sandilands.
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Jabulani Shongwe created Sundowns’ best chance of the game when he hit the upright eight minutes later, while Chinyama’s spectacular long range effort went high over the goal frame.
After an impressive display on the field Chinyama’s time came to a close after he was replaced by Collins Mbesuma, in the 68th minute, to give the towering striker some rest.
The game lost a bit of its tempo for a while, but it gained its spark once again when Sifiso Myeni became the first player to be booked for continuous protesting, 75 minutes in.
Myeni responded to the booking in excellent fashion when he struck a snapshot at goal to see it curl into the far top corner, with eight minutes remaining, to put the result beyond doubt.
It was too little too late for Sundowns when they got their consolation goal through Edward Manqele, who struck a half volley inside the small box.
The time remaining was too small for a comeback as only seven minutes remained.
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 1 (Manqele 87’)
Orlando Pirates (2) 3 (Mbuyane 12’, Chinyama 42’, Myeni 83’)
Mamelodi Sundowns: Sandilands, Arendse, Masenamela, Mampuru, Schut, , Nyandoro, Laffor, Pelembe (Mushekwi 62’), Modise, Rodgers (Manqele 80’), Shongwe (Kekana 75’)
Orlando Pirates: Meyiwa, Sangweni, Lekgwathi, Matlaba, Phungwayo, Manyisa, Myeni (Segolela 90+1’), Klate, Ntshumayelo, Mbuyane (Moholo 87’), Chinyama (Mbesuma 68’)