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Race For 2nd On As Pirates Beat AmaZulu

Orlando Pirates kept their hopes of finishing second in the DStv Premiership alive as they beat AmaZulu 1-0 at the Orlando Stadium on Thursday evening.

While AmaZulu are still second on 50 points, four ahead of third-placed Golden Arrows and Pirates, who are both on 46, the Buccaneers still have a game in hand. 

However Pirates would need to win all three of their remaining games and hope Usuthu slip in one of their remaining two.

Orlando Pirates 1-0 AmaZulu

The visitors were dealt an early blow when influential midfield Makhehleni Makhaula had to go off injured. He was replaced by Butholezwe Ncube.

Pirates had the first shots at goal, an audacious attempt from Deon Hotto in the 10th minute from a long free kick, while Gabadinho Mhango had an effort from just inside the box two minutes later. Both were saved by Veli Mothwa. Mhango had another good chance in the 16th minute, but this time his first time effort flew over the goal.

AmaZulu’s first chance, or first three chances, came in the 20th minute, as Lehlohonolo Majoro, Thapelo Xoki and Siyethemba Sithebe all had shots at goal blocked by the Pirates defence. Two minutes later former AmaZulu midfielder Nkanyiso Zungu tried a long range effort but it went wide of goal.

At halftime it remained goalless with the home team having the best of the game, but not creating many clear cut opportunities in the final third.

Vincent Pule, who came on at halftime for Hotto, had a shot at goal in the 48th minute, but while he was on target, Mothwa got down well to make the save.

Majoro had great chance for the visitors in the 55th minute as he got onto the end of a Thabo Qalinge cross, but his header struck the crossbar. Substitute Luvuyo Memela after having just came on tried a long range effort in the 65th minute that forced a good save from Mpontshane.

Mhango put Pirates into the lead in the 76th minute, as the Malawian delivered in a great free kick into the top right corner of the goal.

Sithebe’s good long range effort in the 87th minute was on target and moving in the air, but Mpontshane made a good save to keep Pirates in the lead.

Pule almost added a second in stoppage time, with a powerful effort from an acute angle, but Mothwa made a great one handed save.

An important win for Josef Zinnbauer and his team.