A brace from Tokelo Rantie and a penalty from Benni McCarthy earned Orlando Pirates a 3-1 victory over Free State Stars at the Orlando Stadium in an Absa Premiership match on Wednesday night.
Pirates took an early lead in the second minute of the match when Rantie forced his way past the Stars defenders on the right side and his right footed shot was parried in by Stars ‘keeper Kennedy Mweene.
The men from the Free State were lacking ideas in the final third of the pitch and Coldrin Coetzee’s 25-yard shot in the 21st minute went over the bar.
Three minutes later Mzikayise Mashaba turned the Bucs defence in circles on the right side but his left footed shot from 18-yards went wide of Josephs’ reach.
On the half hour mark, Mashaba sent in a beautiful cross on the right wing but it missed the head of dangerman Edward Manqele who was perfectly positioned to score from six yards.
Five minutes before the break, Bucs suffered an injury blow as centre back Rooi Mahamusta had to be stretched off and replaced by Lizo Mjempu.
The match went to halftime with Bucs leading 1-0.
Four minutes after the restart, substitute Dove Wome put through Manqele and Stars’ leading goal scorer made no mistake as coolly finished with an excellent right footed shoot to make it 1-1 after 49 minutes.
But Pirates came back into the match in 57th minute as Sadate Akoriko brought Pirates striker Rantie in the box and the referee awarded a penalty.
Benni McCarthy slotted the ball home from the penalty spot to beat Stars Mweene low to his right to restore the lead and make it 2-1 after 58 minutes.
In the 61st minute, Josephs was the hero as he saved when Manqele missed from six yards with a powerful right footed shot
In the 65th minute Manqele sent in a cross from the right but it narrowly missed the head of Mashaba in the six-yard box.
Pirates then put the match out of reach for the Free State side in the 78th minute when McCarthy played in Rantie and the striker scored his second of the match as he chipped Mweene to make it 3-1.
Pirates then held on for the win to exact revenge on Stars who beat them 2-1 this past Saturday in the Nedbank Cup round of 16.
Orlando Pirates (1) 3 (Rantie 2’, 78’, McCarthy 58’ pen)
Free State Stars (0) 1 (Manqele 49’)
Orlando Pirates: M Josephs; T Matlaba, R Mahamutsa (L Mjempu 40’), B Nzunga, L Lekgwathi; T Nyshumayelo, R Bester (T Segolela 51’), O Manyisa, D Mabalane, B McCarthy (T Mbuyane 82’), T Rantie
Free State Stars: K Mweene; S Gege, S Ouro-Akoriko, A Gcaba, K Mashego; C Coetzee (D Wome 46’), M Makola (T Mosikidi 72’), M Mashaba, P Masehe; E Wiltwer (B Sekgobela 79’), E Manqele.
In the other league matches SuperSport United continued to drop the points when they were held to a goalless by Moroka Swallows with Jomo Cosmos registering a 2-1 victory over BidVest Wits.
The rest of the results are:
Bloemfontein Celtic 0 Mamelodi Sundowns 0, Ajax Cape Town 2 v AmaZulu 4.-Backpagepix