Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Mabasa strikes again as Pirates beat ten-man AmaZulu

AmaZulu's Abubaker Mobara was controversially sent off early in the game.

Tshegofatso Mabasa was the match-winner for Orlando Pirates as they edged out AmaZulu 1-0 in a DStv Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.

The 27 year-old fired home from close range to grab his fifth league goal and eighth in all competitions since re-joining the Buccaneers this year from a loan spell at Moroka Swallows.

This was a game marred by controversy, however, as AmaZulu defender Abubaker Mobara was controversially sent off in the 22nd minute for a challenge on Patrick Maswanganyi.

Early on, AmaZulu goalkeeper Veli Mothwa stopped an effort from Maswanganyi, before Victor Letsoalo struck the woodwork for the visitors.

In the 22nd minute AmaZulu were put on the back foot as referee Cedric Muvhali dished out a red card to Mobara, even though the Usuthu man appeared to win some of the ball in a tackle on Maswanganyi.

Mobara was clearly incensed, and the decision can only have added fuel to the fury of AmaZulu, who felt they were already hard done by in the 4-2 Nedbank Cup defeat by Pirates last weekend.

In a half time substitution, Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro brought on Thalente Mbatha in midfield for Makhehlene Makhaula.

Saleng impact

Pirates continued to press without finding a way through a stubborn AmaZulu rearguard and Riveiro made another two changes just after the hour mark, bringing on Monnapule Saleng and Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo for Kabelo Dlamini and Miguel Timm.

In the 75th minute, Pirates finally found the breakthrough and Saleng showed his value to the Buccaneers as he broke into the area and cut the ball back for Mabasa, who calmly beat Mothwa.

The victory moved Pirates to second in the table, though Stellenbosch will return there if they beat or draw with TS Galaxy on Sunday.