Orlando Pirates returned to winning ways in the 2020-21 DStv Premiership season with a 3-0 victory over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at Thohoyandou Stadium on Wednesday.
The win, Pirates’ first of 2021, moved them up to fourth place on the standings, seven points behind league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. Defeat leaves TTM in 12th place, a mere three points above the relegation zone and winless in six matches.
The Buccaneers opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Vincent Pule caught Meshack Maphangule on the ball and after Deon Hotto saw his initial effort blocked on the line by Tebogo Thangwane, the Namibian pounced on rebound, kept his cool and steered the ball into an empty net with Washington Arubi stranded.
Vhadau Vha Damani should’ve pulled level in the 32nd minute but Thabo Rakhale squandered a glorious chance. The wing-wizard had done well to beat the offside trap with a perfectly-timed run from deep, but his resulting lob effort cannoned off the woodwork.
The hosts were made to rue that miss seven minutes later as Thembinkosi Lorch teed up Gabadinho Mhango for only his second goal of the campaign. The Malawi international slipped the ball under the onrushing Arubi for his first goal since the opening weekend of the season.
Pirates survived a nervy moment five minutes after the interval as a deflected cross caught Wayne Sandilands off guard, bouncing off the top off the crossbar, but Innocent Maela reacted well to spare his goalkeeper’s blushes.
The Buccaneers put the game to bed in the 64th minute with Lorch the provider once more. The former Player of the Season rolled the ball into Fortune Makaringe’s path and the midfielder drove the ball home with a rasping shot from the edge of the area to seal a comprehensive win.
TTM (0) 0
Orlando Pirates (2) 3 (Hotto 16′ Mhango 39′ Makaringe 64′)
TTM: Arubi; Ravhuhali (Mabotja 75′), Thangwane, Ndengane, Thopola (Malongoane 57′), Manaka, Maphangule (Ndlondlo 46′), Lukhubeni, Rakhale, Ngema (Mphambaniso 75′), Nevhulamba.
ORLANDO PIRATES: Sandilands; Mako (Jele 71′), Maela, Nyauza, Jooste, Motshwari (Monare 71′), Makaringe (Zungu 84′), Lorch (Mntambo 71′), Pule, Hotto (Muwowo 61′), Mhango.