Pirates move up to second spot in PSL

Pirates edge Chippa

A brace by Justin Shonga and further goals by Bernard Morrison and Thembinkosi Lorch saw Orlando Pirates claim a 4-2 victory against Chippa United in a thrilling affair on Sunday afternoon, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.

Chippa XI: 29. Mhlongo, 22. Modisane, 5. Konqobe, 2. Okwuosa, 7. Mako, 21. Rakhale, 27. Mabaso, 20. Mdlinzo, 11. Mayambela, 10. Mbenyane, 17. Machupa.

Pirates XI: 16. Mabokgwane, 4. Jele, 34. Nyauza, 28. Dube, 23. Maela, 33. Munetsi, 14. Nyatama, 11. Memela, 3. Lorch, 12. Morrison, 27. Shonga.

The visitors started off as the brighter outfit and had the first effort at goal in the second minute when Luvuyo Memela played in Innocent Maela, but goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo reacted quickest to clear any danger.

Mhlongo was at it again two minutes later when he did well to keep out Justin Shonga’s venomous effort from a freekick. The Chilli Boys composed themselves and started dominating proceedings in the midfield.

After some good interplay in the final third, Chippa wasted an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock when Sizwe Mdlinzo missed the simplest of tap-ins from inside the six-yard area.

Chippa were not to be denied four minutes later when Mxolisi Machupu got onto the end of a lofted ball into the area before making no mistake. The complexity of the encounter changed momentarily as Chippa continued to dominate proceedings, however they failed to take advantage of that stint.

Pirates were awarded a peanlty after Passe Mako was adjudged to have handled Bernard Morrison’s ball into the area. The Ghanian duly converted the spot kick to bring his side back into the clash.

The game got heated on the half-hour mark when Ayabulela Konqobe was booked for a studs-up challenge on Thembinkosi Lorch. Pirates were fortunate to head into the half-time break with the scores locked at 1-1 after the gifted away possession cheaply – not once, but twice prior to the half-time whistle.

Pirats emerged with more of an attacking intent in second stanza and came agonisingly close to taking the lead in the 48th minute, but Morrison’s curled effort from just outside the box went narrowly wide.

Milutin Sredojevic made the first change of the game when Xola Mlambo replaced Marshall Munetsi in the 55th minute. The move almost immediately paid dividends as Morrison had the ball in the back of the net three minutes later, but the winger was adjudged to have been in an offside position.

Pirates inched ever closer to taking the lead as Musa Nyatama struck the pole in the 67th minute after some good interplay between him and Lorch.

The visitors took the lead in the 72nd minute after Memela bamboozled the Chippa defence, before playing the ball into the path of Shonga who made no mistake to make it 2-1.

Thabo Matlaba replaced Memela late on, while Katlego Mashego came on for Mayambela and it was the latter substitution which proved telling as Mashego netted with his first touch of the game in the 83rd minute.

Pirates would have the last laugh as Memela got onto the end of Maela’s inch-perfect cross to make it 3-2, in addition to Shonga completing his brace with a late venomous strike to make it 4-2.

The result sees Pirates move up to second spot on the PSL table – four points behind table-toppers Mamelodi Sundowns.

Photo: Backpagepix

-This story originally appeared on SportsClub.co.za