Orlando Pirates miss out on DStv Premiership top spot after defeat to Maritzburg United

Orlando Pirates missed the chance to move top of the DStv Premiership table after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Maritzburg United on Sunday evening.

Pirates made four changes from the MTN8 quarter-final tie as Fortune Makaringe got his first start against his former side, alongside recalls for Paseka Mako, Thabang Monare and Bandile Shandu while Bongani Sam, on loan at Maritzburg started against his parent club.

The Buccaneers started the game with a high tempo and had a chance to get an early lead after Makaringe latched onto a loose ball in the box but fired his shot wide.

With the Team of Choice absorbing the pressure, the game was temporarily suspended on 19 minutes due to a floodlight failure but play resumed after ten minutes.

The visitors lost their dominance somewhat after that and they had a forced change late in the half after Vincent Pule was stretchered off with a niggling injury and he was replaced by Zakhele Lepasa.

There was ten minutes of added time in the first stanza after the floodlight incident and John Maduka’s charges came to life, as Amadou Soukouna came close to breaking the deadlock with a low drive that forced a fine save out of shot-stopper Richard Ofori just before the interval.

Jose Riveiro’s troops had a bright start to the second stanza as Innocent Maela came close with a header at the back post that missed narrowly wide after a cross by Monare.

Maritzburg were vulnerable to counter-attacks after the hour-mark and were fortunate not to go behind after Lepasa setup himself clear on goal but he curled his shot just wide of the gaping net with only goalkeeper King Ndlovu to beat.

The game was on the edge in the closing stages and the Team of Choice were awarded a penalty ten minutes before time after Olisa Ndah pushed down second-half substitute Sibusiso Conco in the box. Soukouna made no mistake from the spot-kick to give his side the lead with a thumping strike.

Pirates responded with a triple change and threw in the fresh legs of Kwame Peprah, Tebogo Tlolane and Collins Makgaka in the dying minutes.

However, the Buccaneers were unable to carve out a clear opening as Maritzburg held on to their second win that moved them up to seventh on the log.

Here’s how they lined up:

Maritzburg United: Ndlovu, Makume, Hlongwa, Mashikinya, Theron, Sam, Moloisane, Kimvuidi, Soukouna, Njoti, Palace

Subs: Anya Derick, Ritchie, Macheke, Samu, Conco, Human, Baloyi, Van der Ross, Monomodi

Orlando Pirates: Ofori, Maela, Sibisi, Ndah, Monare, Timm, Shandu, Mako, Makaringe, Pule, Nga

Subs: Mpontshane, Peprah, Mthethwa, Xoki, Lepasa, Tlolane, Dlamini, Makgaka, Motshwari


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