Goal feast as Pirates maintain lead

A South African Premiership goal drought came to a abrupt halt on Wednesday with 26 in seven matches as Orlando Pirates maintained a four-point advantage at the top. Bloemfontein Celtic, defending champions SuperSport United and Wits University hit four each in the sixth round of the richest African national championship with a $1.25 million first prize.

The eight matches last weekend produced just ten goals and two victories, but there were no midweek blues as Katlego Mphela of Mamelodi Sundowns, Prince Olomu of Celtic and Tefu Mashamaite of Wits led the charge with two each. Pirates could manage only one in Soweto, but the 62nd-minute effort from Dikgang Mabalane was enough to secure maximum points over lowly Mpumalanga Black Aces.

Daine Klate and Thabo Mongalo grabbed goals in the final five minutes as SuperSport triumphed 4-2 over Moroka Swallows in Pretoria and climbed to fourth, five points adrift of the 'Buccaneers'. Wits exploited aerial power against stand-in Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Calvin Marlin to come from behind twice and triumph 4-2 against opponents coached by former Bulgaria FIFA World Cup™ star Hristo Stoickhov.

The 'Students' share second place with Celtic, 4-2 winners at Maritzburg United, who shocked hosts Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 four days ago. Celtic, whose supporters are widely regarded as the most passionate in the country, raced to a two-goal lead only to surrender it before goals by Nigerian Olomu and Sandile Ndlovu sealed the points.

An early penalty from Botswana star Dipsy Selolwane brought Ajax Cape Town a 1-0 win over AmaZulu in Durban and Malian Sekou Camara levelled for Jomo Cosmos in a 1-1 draw against Santos in Cape Town. Aleni Lebeyane and Professor Ramoraswi scored to set up a 3-1 win for Free State Stars over Golden Arrows, a result that gave the hosts a first league success of the season and the visitors a first loss.