Lucky goal earns Pirates slender win

A fortuitous goal in the 84th minute, which crossed the goalline after striking the back of goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez, saw Orlando Pirates beat Bidvest Wits 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

It was a quick start to the game with some sloppy defending by Pirates allowing Wits a chance on goal as early as the third minute when a cross from the right was met by Sibusiso Vilakazi, but he saw his header superbly saved by Senzo Meyiwa.

A minute later the action was at the other end of the park as Kermit Erasmus broke behind the Wits defence, but he was thwarted by Rowen Fernandez in a one-on-one.

The next chance on goal only came in the 20th minute when Mpho Makola used his pace to beat the last Wits defender, but he fired his 16-yard shot form an acute angle into the side netting.

Two minutes later Wits should have taken the lead when Sameehg Doutie played Getaneh Kebede through on goal, but his shot skimmed the wrong side of the crossbar from ten-yards out with just the keeper to beat.

Pirates suffered a bit of a setback on the half hour mark when Thandani Ntshumayelo had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Daine Klate.

The substitution, though, did not seem to disrupt the Buccaneers attack with Erasmus muscling his way into space on the edge of the box, but he shot inches wide with his effort.

The half ended 0-0.

It was a poor start to the second half by both sides as bot squandered possession with some woeful passing.

The first decent effort on goal after the break came in the 67th minute when Vilakazi let fly with a low shot from the edge of the box, but he saw his effort well-saved by the keeper.

Seven minutes later Pirates came close to breaking the deadlock when Makola saw his 24-yard free-kick superbly tipped over the bar by Fernandez.

In the 80th minute Fernandez was called into action again, this time with an acrobatic save to deny Lehlohonolo Majoro from the edge of the box.

Pirates continued to press forward and found the winner six minutes from time in fortuitous fashion.

Siya Sangweni unleashed a 24-yard thunderbolt that struck the right-hand post and then into the back of a diving Fernandez and over the goalline, 1-0.

Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Fernandez 84’ og.)

Bidvest Wits (0) 0

Teams

Orlando Pirates: Senzo Meyiwa, Ayanda Gcaba, Happy Jele, Patrick Phungwayo, Siyabonga Sangweni, Issa Sarr, Mpho Makola, Thandani Ntshumayelo (Daine Klate 30’), Oupa Manyisa, Sifiso Myeni (Thabo Qalinge 78’), Kermit Erasmus (Lehlohonolo Majoro 71’).

Bidvest Wits: Rowen Fernandez, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Cornelis Kwakman, Onismor Bhasera, Phumlani Ntshangase , Sameehg Doutie, Sibusiso Vilakazi (Dillon Sheppard 86’), Christopher Katongo (Sthembiso Ngcobo 66’), Siyabonga Nhlapo, Getaneh Kebede (Henrico Botes 73’).