Cape Town Spurs picked up their first win of the season as they beat Orlando Pirates 2-1 at the DHL Stadium in their DStv Premiership fixture on Wednesday evening.
Sean Connor, who was appointed as interim coach following Shaun Bartlett’s exit, sat on the bench for the first time for Spurs, having received his work permit.
While Spurs were seeking their first point of the season, Pirates were on the hunt for a first league win since the end of August.
It was Spurs who struck first and after just the second minute as the home team took advantage of some sloppy defensive work and defender Lubeni Haukongo found himself at the far post to knock in past Melusi Buthelezi to make it 1-0.
Pirates looked to regain their composure immediately but while they were knocking on the door, they were struggling to make an impact in the final third.
Luvoyo Phewa’s long-range attempt in the 16th minute was optimistic and Buthelezi saved comfortably. A minute later Evidence Makgopa had a great chance to level matters, but fired across the face of the goal.
A dangerous ball in from Miguel Timm almost caused problems in the 31st minute, but Sam Ramsbottom was able to punch clear. Three minutes later last gasp defending from Spurs denied what looked like a sure equaliser, but Makgopa was unable to get a final touch.
But it was Spurs who would strike again, as Jarrod Moroole made an excellent run into the box and while Buthelezi denied his first attempt, Moroole made no mistake on the follow-up. 2-0 in the 36th minute.
Moments later it could’ve been three as Ashley Cupido raced clear, but his final attempt was straight at Buthelezi. Buthelezi saved again from Rushwin Dortley in the 39th minute.
With two minutes to go to half-time, Pirates pulled one back as Makgopa was there to bundle it over the line.
Just before the whistle, Thabiso Monyane fired just wide and it remained 2-1 at the break.
Thabang Monare went close with a header from a 52nd-minute corner, but it went wide of goal.
And similarly, Olisa Ndah had a golden chance in the 64th minute, as he found himself unmarked at the back post but his header went just over.
It was Pirates who would do most of the attacking in the second half, but found Spurs a tough nut to crack. Karim Kimvuidi, having come on at half-time, dribbled into the box in the 74th minute, but fired wide of goal.
Patrick Maswanganyi went close in the 84th minute with a goal-bound effort but Ramsbottom made a good save to parry it over. Keagan Buchanan meanwhile went over with a long-range attempt at the other end three minutes later.
Teenager Luke Baartman tried in the 90th minute with Buthelezi charging off his line, but went wide.
But it was a nervy few final minutes for Spurs as Pirates pushed for the equaliser, and with seconds remaining Vincent Pule went just over with a header.
The Spurs players dropped to their knees when the final whistle blew, and they had finally picked up their first win of the season.