Black Leopards 0-1 Orlando Pirates: Bucs close gap on Kaizer Chiefs

Goal.com
Fans take to social media as Bucs go second on the log at a packed Thohoyandou Stadium
Fans take to social media as Bucs go second on the log at a packed Thohoyandou Stadium

Orlando Pirates stretched their winning run to six matches in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) when they edged out Black Leopards 1-0 in Limpopo on Sunday afternoon. 

Lidoda Duvha were hoping to record their third successive win after defeating North West University in the Nedbank Cup match and Stellenbosch FC in their last league game. 

Mogakolodi Ngele kept his place in the starting line-up after producing a man of the match performance against North West University with Alan Clark's side looking to humble Pirates. 

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The Buccaneers were keen to return to winning ways after being eliminated from the Nedbank Cup following a defeat to Bidvest Wits and the loss ended their nine-match unbeaten run. 

Frank Mhango and Wayne Sandilands made their return to the Bucs starting line-up as Josef Zinnbauer looked to ensure that Bucs completed a league double over Lidoda Duvha this season.

Leopards did very well to contain Pirates in the early exchanges and the hosts grew in confidence as the match progressed with Mumuni Abubakar pulling the strings in midfield. 

The first chance of the game fell for Thabo Matlaba, who was sent through on goal, but the former Pirates full-back placed his effort over the crossbar from close range as Lidoda Duvha missed a glorious chance. 

Another former Pirates player Edwin Gyimah had an opportunity to score when he connected with Ngele's corner-kick and Sandilands pulled off a magnificent fingertip save to deny the defender. 

The momentum was with Leopards as the half-time break approached and Ngele's dangerous curling free-kick hit the crossbar with Sandilands well-beaten in the Bucs goal.

The score was 0-0 at the interval with Leopards having dominated the first half, but they could not break the deadlock. 

Robert Ng'ambi, who helped Platinum Stars defeat Pirates in two major cup finals, was introduced at the beginning of of the second half as the home side looked to take the lead. 

The former Malawi international combined with well with Matlaba, but his effort was well saved by Sandilands from close range with the visitors' defence caught ball watching. 

Pirates then took control of the match and they were brilliantly denied twice by Leopards goalkeeper Rotshidzwa Muleka, who blocked Vincent Pule's effort, before parrying away Ntsikelelo Nyauza's header. 

The visitors did grab a late winning goal in 90th minute when Pule's deflected effort from range beat Muleka to seal Pirates' 1-0 win over Leopards. 

The victory took the Buccaneers to the second place on the league standings - six points behind the leaders Kaizer Chiefs while Lidoda Duvha remained 14th on the log. 

Meanwhile, Polokwane City climbed up to the 15th spot on the table after securing a 3-2 win over Cape Town City at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon. 

Cape Town City, who were without their key striker Kermit Erasmus, remained 11th on the standings following the narrow defeat.

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