Sithembiso Dindi
3 minute read
18 Apr 2021
21:37

Pule brace sees Maritzburg fall to rampant Buccaneers

Sithembiso Dindi

A brace by second-half substitute Vincent Pule saw Orlando Pirates handing the wasteful Maritzburg United a 2-0 defeat in a DStv Premiership fixture at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday night.

A brace by second-half substitute Vincent Pule saw Orlando Pirates handing the wasteful Maritzburg United a 2-0 defeat in a DStv Premiership fixture at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday night.

The Soweto Giants went into the game at the back of an embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup while Maritzburg had not had any competitive action for two weeks.

United were sitting pretty ahead of this match, bagging three wins and two draws in their last five outings.

For the clash Pirates missed a couple of their key players as skipper Happy Jele was left out with an injury while another defender Thulani Hlatshwayo was serving his one-match suspension.

“…the Team of Choice were dealt a big blow when Ali Meza got stretchered off the pitch with what looked to be a serious knee injury when he tried to tackle Pirates’ Abel Mabaso…”

That presented a glorious opportunity for 20-year-old centre back Thabiso Sesane, who played his first DStv Premiership match last night. The first half may have not produced goals, but it was not from lack of trying as both sides displayed great football.

Maritzburg dominated the opening minutes of the first stanza with players such as Daylon Claasen and Bongokuhle Hlongwane both coming close to breaking the deadlock.

Claasen’s chance came in the eighth minute when his shot inside the box went wide, while Hlongwane’s attempt was parried away by the Sea Robbers goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands a minute later. In the 17th minute, the Team of Choice were dealt a big blow when Ali Meza got stretchered off the pitch with what looked to be a serious knee injury when he tried to tackle Pirates’ Abel Mabaso who was charging forward with the ball.

After being under pressure, the Buccaneers regrouped and launched their attack as well and their hard work almost paid off late in the first half as Deon Hotto had a one-on-one with United’s keeper Marcel Engelhardt.

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However, the shot-stopper produced some heroics and saved Hotto’s good shot to keep the score level.

Hotto had another chance against Engelhardt but sent his shot wide at the stroke of half time.

At the beginnning of the second half, Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer brought in Pule for Ben Motshwari. Pule broke the deadlock in the 59th minute as he connected well with a good Fortune Makaringe cross to send the ball into the back of the net.

In the 70th minute, Hlongwane had a glorious opportunity to bring United back into the match but he failed to find the net despite only having the keeper to beat following Pirates’ sloppy defending.

With 10 minutes to full time, Engelhardt made a costly mistake as he left his poles to clear a long ball from his opposite number, but the attempted header went towards his goal line only for Pule to head it into an empty net.

DStv Premiership Fixtures

Tuesday

Chippa v Baroka — 3 pm

Celtic v Swallows — 5 pm

Wednesday

Leopards v Stellenbosch — 3 pm

AmaZulu v Sundowns — 3 pm

SuperSport v Arrows — 5 pm

Chiefs v CT City — 5 pm