Depleted Pirates sink Sundowns
Orlando Pirates survived an early second half sending off to outclass Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 on Wednesday and keep their South African Premiership title hopes alive. Striker Katlego Mashego volleyed the Buccaneers in front on 24 minutes and midfielder Teko Modise added a second 120 seconds after defender Lucky Lekgwathi was dismissed for a second yellow card.
Pirates continued to create the better chances before a large crowd at a packed Ellis Park and Siphelele Mthembu squandered a great chance with only goalkeeper Calvin Marlin to beat near full-time.
Defender Bongani Khumalo scored on 14 minutes to give leaders and defending champions SuperSport United a 1-0 home win over lowly Bloemfontein Celtic near Pretoria. The results left SuperSport six points clear, but 1995 African Champions Cup winners Pirates have a game in hand and must still face United away on April 22 in a potential title decider.
SuperSport have 46 points with six matches to go, Pirates 40, Sundowns 38 and Kaizer Chiefs 37 after they edged Golden Arrows 1-0 in Durban through a fortunate second half goal from Siphiwe Tshabalala.
AmaZulu pipped Moroka Swallows 1-0 to gain a third win in a row for a club coached by Clive Barker and Neil Tovey, celebrated figures in domestic football after their roles in the 1996 African Nations Cup triumph of South Africa. Barker coached Bafana Bafana (The Boys) and Tovey captained the team to a 2-0 victory over Tunisia in a final watched by then President Nelson Mandela and predecessor FW de Klerk.
Striker Bradley Ritson was the AmaZulu hero in the northern mining city of Rustenburg, scoring the only goal after 75 minutes against a Swallows team suffering its third loss in a row.