A heroic display in defence and a single goal from Sipho Jembula handed Polokwane City a 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium yesterday afternoon.
The opening 45 minutes was a half dominated by the Buccaneers, but they were made to pay for their poor finishing in front of goal as Polokwane took a 1-0 lead into the halftime break.
Pirates dictated terms from the onset and controlled the midfield battle, almost able to fashion chances at will, but they were let down but their woeful finishing.
Lucky Lekgwathi had Pirates first chance on goal when he met a corner-kick with a strong header, but his effort went over the crossbar.
Erasmus was one of the main culprits for missed opportunities in attack for the Buccaneers. In the 12th minute he shot wide form 30-yards out and did so again in the 18th minute when he latched onto a goalmouth scramble 12-yards out from goal.
Squeesed in-between those two Erasmus efforts was Pirates’ best chance of the half in the 16th minute after a well-worked free-kick found Thabo Matlaba in space 12-yards out, but he fired over with just the keeper to beat.
In retrospect, chances on goal for Polokwane were few and far between, and even there goal in the 28th minute came about because of a mistake in the Pirates defence.
Jembula showed real determination as he chased down a nothing ball, but miss-communication between Matlaba and the keeper allowed the Polokwane man to sneak in-between them and force the ball home form a few yards out, 1-0.
The goal came very much against the run of play and Polokwane almost found a second on the counter-attack in the 37th minute when Prince Mahlakoane was put through on goal, but he was denied by a fine stop from Fatau Dauda.
The second 45 progressed much the same as the first with Pirates in attack, throwing numbers forward in search of the equaliser and leaving themselves exposed at the back.
Polokwane nearly capitalised in the 60th minute when a break out saw Puleng Tlolane with just the keeper to beat, but his chipped effort over the onrushing Dauda went narrowly wide of the post.
Pirates, despite seeing a lot, were pretty useless in front of goal in the second 45, but a don’t take anything away from a Polokwane defence that held firm and kept them at bay to earn a well-deserved three points.
Polokwane City (1) 1 (Jembula 28’)
Orlando Pirates (0) 0
Polokwane: Marumo, Molekwane, Mngqibisa, Mahlakoane, Lichaba, Sibande, Moyana (Maxwell 84’), Jembula (Rakhale 80’), Maluleke, Kanyenda (Nzimande 89’), Tlolane.
Pirates: Dauda, Lekgwathi, Matlaba, Jele, Gcaba, Ngoma (Malongoane 58’), Masuku (Myeni 81), Manyisa, Ntshumayelo, Bacela (Pelembe 62’), Erasmus.
In the other matches Mamelodi Sundowns beat Ajax Cape Town 3-2 at the Loftus Stadium while BidVest Wits registered an away 1-0 win over AmaZulu with Free State Stars beating Golden Arrows 2-1 away.
Today’s fixtures are: University of Pretoria v Platinum Stars (Tuks, 3.30pm) and Black Aces v Maritzburg United (Mbombela, 3.30pm)-Backpage TXT