SECOND-half goals from Issa Sarr and Sifiso Myeni secured a 2-1 come from behind victory for Orlando Pirates over a 10-man SuperSport United outfit in an Absa Premiership encounter at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday afternoon.
Thuso Phala opened the scoring on the day, but the Buccaneers rallied scoring first through Sarr and then Myeni in the fifth minute of stoppage time to secure a vital away win.
Roscoe Pietersen received his marching orders in the 78th minute of the game.
Both coaches rung the changes ahead of what will be a busy December period which will see each team playing twice a week for a succession of three weeks while Matsatsantsa have the importance of the Telkom Knockout Cup final on the horizon.
Thabo September filled in for the suspended Clayton Daniels while there was also a return to the starting eleven for Roscoe Pietersen, Enocent Mkhabela and Morne Nel.
Happy Jele partnered Rooi Mahamutsa at the heart of defence with Ntsikelelo Nyauza filled in at right-back as the Buccaneers eyed revenge for their TKO loss to the same opponents while there was also a rare start for Lehlohonolo Masalesa in midfield. Masalesa’s namesake Lehlohonolo Majoro failed to make the match day squad.
Following a succession of half chances for the visitors in the opening exchanges, it was the hosts who opened the scoring through Phala in the 21st minute.
A poor pass from Masalesa opened the way for Nel who picked out Phala with a superb outside of the foot pass, the Bafana Bafana winger set himself before firing into the roof of the net.
Pirates pushed for an immediate replay and almost got one 13 minutes later as Sifiso Myeni headed Kermit Erasmus cross inches wide of Ronwen Williams’s left-hand post.
Oupa Manyisa then forced Williams into a fine save, but Pirates came up short in their attempt to pull level before the break and had it all to do if they were to turn things around and avoid another defeat.
Dino Ndlovu had a golden opportunity to double Matsatsantsa’s lead five minutes into the second-half after being put through on goal by David Mathebula, the burly forward though could only succeed in hopelessly scuffing his effort wide of goal.
Pirates found their equaliser from an unlikely source in the 72nd minute following a constant spell of pressure. Second-half substitute Sarr rising highest before heading Daine Klate’s corner-kick past Williams.
Thabo Rakhale should’ve handed the visitors the lead three minutes later, but the former Polokwane City man failed to hit the target with the goal at his mercy.
SuperSport were then reduced to 10-men in the 78th minute following a second yellow card for Pietersen, but almost found the winner through Nel 10 minutes later.
Brighton Mhlongo failed to gather from a free-kick, Nel was the quickest to react and looked certain to score, but his head was brilliantly cleared off the line by Jele.
Myeni stole the points deep into stoppage time, firing a left-footed shot past Williams after SuperSport failed to clear their lines.
The win moves Pirates up to fourth while the loss sees SuperSport slip down to 10th.
SuperSport United (1) 1 (Phala 21’)
Orlando Pirates (0) 2 (Sarr 72’ Myeni 90+5’)
SuperSport United: Williams; Pietersen, Teyise, September, Khumalo (Dean 89’), Mkhabela, Nel, Phala, Manyama, Mathebula (Wome 52’), Ndlovu (Chapman 58’)
Orlando Pirates: Mhlongo; Nyauza, Jele, Mahamutsa, Phungwayo, Masalesa (Sarr 60’), Manyisa, Makola (Bacela 60’), Klate, Myeni, Erasmus (Rakhale 71’)
In another league match played today, Bloemfontein Celtic beat Chippa United 1-0 at the Free State Stadium.-www.psl.co.za