Klate goal decides Bucs clash
Orlando Pirates completed a league double over Platinum Stars with a 1-0 victory that took the Buccaneers two points adrift of Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs.
An early second strike by Daine Klate decided the encounter between Pirates and Stars, which were equal on 37 points prior to kick-off.
However, the margin does not reflect all the goalmouth events as three efforts came off the upright, with Stars hitting the post twice.
Stars were unlucky not to have taken the lead 29 minutes into the game but their talismanic striker, Mogakolodi Ngele, struck his shot against the inside of the post.
This was a culmination of a neatly built move involving Bafana Bafana winger Thuso Phala.
Bucs defender Thabo Matlaba’s long range effort also shaved the woodwork towards the closing stages of the second half.
The two goalkeepers on the night, Senzo Meyiwa in the Pirates goal and his Stars counterpart Siyabonga Mpontshane, also deserve credit for some solid performances all round.
Mpontshane was called into action early in the game but did well to deny Klate and Takesure Chinyama, both from close range.
The visitors had their fair share of attempts at goal but Pirates goalie Meyiwa dealt well with almost every threat that came his way, including a fierce long range strike from Patrick Malokase in the opening half.
Although the clash never really lived up to its status as the top-of-the-table clash in terms of the play, referee Khulasande Qongqo aggravated the situation with some inconsistent officiating.
Worse, his assistants, Sandile Dilikane and Moses Phale, also contradicted decisions.
Matlaba was lucky to have stayed on the pitch after he sparked a physical fight with Stars captain Vuyo Mere but the two were yellow-carded for their behaviour.
How they lined up:
Pirates: Senzo Meyiwa – Happy Jele, Lucky Lekgwathi, Ayanda Gcaba, Thabo Matlaba – Sifiso Myeni, Andile Jali (Onyekachi Okonkwo 90th), Oupa Manyisa, Thandani Ntshumayelo, Daine Klate (Rudolf Bester 63rd) – Takesure Chinyama (Collins Mbesuma 70th)
Stars: Siyabonga Mpontshane – Vuyo Mere, Benson Mhlongo, Tshepo Gumede, Luvolwethu Mpeta – Patrick Malokase (Siphelele Mthembu 56th), Enocent Mkhabela (Roger Majafa 87th), Thuso Phala, Robert Ng’ambi – Mogakolodi Ngele, Thabani Mthembu (Sibusiso Msomi 64th)