Pirates crush Leopards to silence critics
Defending champions Orlando Pirates proved their mettle in destroying the Black Leopards 4-0 to climb back to second place in the South African Premiership.
Following a goalless first half in a rainy Polokwane, Zambian forward Collins Mbesuma scored the opener off his left foot in the 47th minute. Thandani Ntshumayelo followed on the hour, finding the back of the net from outside the area off Khethokwakhe Masuku's corner.
Just three minutes later, Daine Klate beat the hosts' goalkeeper Azwindini Maphaha, with replacement Happy Jele's header hitting home nine minutes before time for a convincing win. Pirates' sterling performance recalls their usual good form which has been lacking in the league. They now trail league leaders Kaizer Chiefs by only four points.
In Durban Bloemfontein Celtic climbed to the top half of the table with a 1-0 victory over Golden Arrows in the death throes of the game. Following a series of missed chances during most of the match in wet conditions, defender Thabo Nthethe netted the ball in stoppage time after a dramatic scramble in front of the box.
Home goalkeeper Pavels Steinbors's failure to neutralise Lyle Lakay led to confusion until Nthethe struck past the Latvian. Superb keeping by Celtic goalie Patrick Tignyemb from Cameroon prevented Arrows' many on-target strikes.
Another draw for Pretoria U
Pretoria University added their fifth draw of 11 matches in their nil-all stalemate against Free State Stars in Phuthaditjhaba. Eager for a fourth win this season, Free State dominated the clash, but their strikes went wide and visiting goalkeeper Washington Arubi from Zimbabwe saved an on-target kick from Jesse Jackson.
Pretoria fought back valiantly, but a string of saves from Tshepo Motsoeneng kept them from scoring.
Their one-all draw in Pretoria leaves AmaZulu and Mamelodi Sundowns unchanged at the bottom of the table. Late goals from both sides prevented a nil-all score, but former champions Sundowns cannot seem to shake off the curse despite the likes of players like national star scorer Teko Modise.
The game started slowly, with action picking up late in the first half, but neither team managed to score. A misjudgment by the hosts' Clayton Daniels in the 77th minute left an unguarded box, with Amazulu's Ayanda Dlamini clearing the way before passing to Andile Khumalo who tipped the ball in. Anthony Laffor equalised for the home side four minutes before time.