Pirates have ended the first half of the PSL season well and will go into the two month break with a lot of confidence. Many of their players will be participating in the Africa Cup of Nations which should keep them sharp. Thanks for following all the action with me tonight, be sure to catch the rest of the PSL action next year with Goal.com South Africa. Hope you have a stunning festive season!
That's it the final whistle! Pirates win and keep the pressure on Chiefs at the top of the table!
It is not to be for Pirates as they earn another corner and look to eat up time by holding onto possession.
Free kick for pirates in a good area. Is the third goal on hand?
The corner is poor from Shepard and Pirates are able to defend the ball easily.
Do Golden Arrows have any surprises in store for Pirates in the last five minutes? It does not seem likely but they have won another corner.
Its the end of the 90 and 5 minutes have been added on.
Substitution Andile Jali Manti Molemo Moholo
Looks like a bad injury for Andile Jali, who seems to have over extended his knee after trying to tackle an Arrows player. He is off the pitch and the change has to be made.
It seems as if Pirates have got the three points in the bag out there and they will be very happy with their end to 2012 PSL season. They will start 2013 only one point behind Kaizer Chiefs.
SHOT FROM MATLABA! The left back cuts inside and shoots with his right foot with a stinging effort. Well saved though from Steinbors.
Good approach play from Pirates sees Klate send in a dangerous cross into the box but there are not enough attackers in the area.
It seems as if Shepard is ok and he tries to walk off what looked like a serious injury.
Shepard is in complete agony out there as Jali catches his ankle with his studs up.
Chinyama is on for Mbesuma. The next time we see the Zambian he will be in the green of his national side.
Substitution Collins Mbesuma Takesure Chinyama
Pirates break but the players lack energy in their move. Arrows are able to earn a corner but only put three players in the box, a strange decision when your team is 2-0 down.
Sangweni is caught out after being lazy in possession but Arrows cannot punish the defenders poor play.
Substitution Sifiso Myeni Terence Mpho Makola
With the final 10 minutes coming up it seems as if Pirates are content to just see off a rather impotent Arrows attacking line-up. Makola comes on for Myeni, who will next be targeting Bafana Bafana glory during the Africa Cup of Nations.
The game has lost the majority of its energy as both sides send in hopeful long balls one after the other. Lekghwati sends the ball into the heavens with a clearance. Pirates are looking to close out the three points tonight.
Yellow Card Senzo Meyiwa
Pirates midfield players have been solid tonight, controlling the majority of the game against an experienced Arrows engine room.
It looks like Bafana Bafana's Thanduyise Khuboni is coming on for Arrows Can he spark his team into life?
Substitution Ntlantla Zothwane Thanduyise Khuboni
The final twenty minutes give Arrows a chance to get themselves back into the game. This almost happens as Ntuli breaks into the box but takes one too many touches and Matlaba defends well under pressure.
Sangweni commits another foul for Pirates much to his disgust. Shepard sends in a great ball but Arrows cannot force a header on target.
A free kick for Arrows is easily defended by Pirates. But Arrows have another chance to send the ball into the box and completely fluff their set play as they lose the ball with a poor pass.
Great link up play from Mbesuma and Happy Jele sees Daine Klate go for a Wayne Rooney type overhead kick, but his effort skies back to Jele who is caught in an offside position.
Substitution Jabulani Innocent Nene Thamsanqa Aubrey Gabuza
A good corner kick from Dillon Shepard forces another corner for the home side. But it is a disappointing ball from Hasebe and Pirates counter. The second change for Arrows sees Gabuza come on for Nene.
Every player on PIrates' bench looks intent and hungry to get onto the pitch, as the game enters a slight quiet period. Is this the calm before another storm?
Another shot for Manyisa is sent into the stands. The Bucaneers are in the midst of a swashbuckling performance tonight and their fans will demand more goals in Durban.
Three corners in a row for PIrates displays their domination out there, but Arrows hold on, but for how much longer? The third goal looks inevitable.
Arrows lose possession once more and Pirates almost kill the game off through Mbesuma who is free on goal and shoots with his weaker foot which is well saved by Steinbors.
The game is sent into a quiet period as Arrows try to build from the back.
Arrows have it all to do and another poor effort from Zothwane is not helping a cause which is looking a bit like a sinking ship tonight.
Goal Happy Jele
GOAL FOR JELE! 2-0 to Pirates! Pirates break and win a corner which sees Klate take it short to Manyisa. Manyisa returns the ball to Klate and the winger sends in a delicious cross which Jele powers into the net via Steinbors, who was powerless in keeping the ball out of the net.
Dillon Shepard has looked committed since he has come onto the pitch and wins a free kick for Arrows down the right flank.
CHANCE FOR ARROWS! A corner for the home side sees Bilankulu meet the ball with the side of his head as he can't quite time his effort.
Pirates are moving well in attacking positions as Klate is released in the area which forces a good save from Steinbors but his effort would not have counted as Klate was offside.
Similar to the first half, the second starts off with a bit of scrappy play from both sides, But Pirates almost create something as Matlaba cuts in-field with pace and sends a speedy ball which is too quick for Mbesuma.
Substitution Luyolo Mapolisa Dillon Sheppard
Arrows start off the second half with Dillon Shepard on the pitch.
Arrows continue to try and create goals with crosses, but their delivery has either been poor or they have struggled to deal with the physicality of Sangweni and Lekghwati.
The second half is starting soon in Durban. Pirates hold the lead and Arrows will be targeting a strong start to the second stanza. The Buccaneers will hope to defy a bit of profligacy which has crept into their game and finish off this tie in order to keep the pressure on Kaizer Chiefs.
So Pirates have the lead at the break! A superb curling strike from Klate was one of the few memorable moments of a rather dour first half. There were some other good moments for Pirates who dominated proceedings but more goals were required for this game to become a spectacle. Senzo Meyiwa has barely touched the ball but Arrows did start to create a few chances at the end of the half. Join me for the second half in around 15 minutes! Can Arrows fight back or will Pirates pit this game to bed? We shall see soon.
Two minutes added on and two minutes have been played. Some decent play from Arrows results in another corner for the home side. But Meyiwa punches well to release Meyiwa. Pirates decide to play out the half and we are going into the break.
Poor effort from Hadebe, who sends the free kick over the crossbar. Boos echo throughout the stadium as Arrows had a decent chance to create something there.
Arrows will be buoyed by their late play in this half, as they have at least put the Pirates' defenders under a bit of pressure. The first half seems to be petering out, as Pirates keep possession at the back. This backfires as Habede bursts forward and earns a set piece just outside the box.
More good play from Arrows puts Meyiwa under pressure as he makes an error but is brave in his follow-up, putting his body on the line to force a goal kick.
Some good movement and passing from Arrows sees a chance as a good ball is played into the box but Ntuli can't quite get to the ball and Sangweni clears it for a corner.
We're approaching the last five minutes of this half and Pirates hold all the aces, They're dominating possession and have already had nine shots on target.
Pirates break forward after another piece of poor play from Arrows and Myeni has a shot blocked followed by a bad effort from Ntshumayelo.
Pirates will look for that killer instinct tonight as Arrows are certainly not a goal shy side and do have a never-say-die spirit. But at the moment Abafanda B'ethesda lack in the creative department.
More good defending from Krjauklis as he stops Manyisa from bursting forward. The resulting corner sees a poor delivery from Jali. Arrows counter but they do not have the confidence to take advantage of what looked like a good opportunity.
On six past occasions Arrows have lost every game in which they have conceded first. Not good news at all for Arrows fans at all!
Matlaba with the shot! The left back who is known for producing truly spectacular goals goes for an effort with his right boot which flies wide.
Pirates really are in control out there as Arrows cannot put them under any form of pressure. Two passes from Arrows and Pirates have the ball once more. Their passing has been well below par tonight.
JALI WITH THE SPECTACULAR!! A low cross is met my Jali on the volley from behind his body, but his effort just goes wide. Magnificent football from Pirates out there.
Mbesuma surges forward once more as Pirates are looking to put Arrows to the sword.
Goal Daine Klate
KLATE SHOOTS! And Klate scores! Another stunning free-kick from the winger settles into the bottom right corner of the net as Pirates have the lead. That shot was immaculate with a delightful curl on it.
Yellow Card Andile Jali
Yellow Card Jabulani Innocent Nene
Nene is given a yellow and he fouls Myeni with a cynical challenge. It is another free kick in a good area for Pirates. Especially Daine Klate with his thunderbolt left foot.
CHANCE FOR ARROWS!. Great chance as Matlaba loses the ball on the right flank and the cross is delivered low into the area but Ntuli can't shake off the attentions of Sangweni and sends his effort flying into the stands.
Manyisa has a chance! Klate sends in a low square ball, an obcious training ground move, but Manyisa cannot time his run and his weak shot goes out for a goal-kick.
Free kick in a good area for Pirates as Myeni shows his pace and puts Tom under pressure, who leans into Myeni and gives away a rather soft free kick,
Attacks from Pirates are being constantly stifled in the midfield. There is absolutely no rhythm in the game as yet. Not at all what many expected but it is early on and Pirates do seem to have a little more control than their opponents,
Ntuli shoots! The striker receives a good ball and puts Sangweni under pressure with a good run followed by a shot which goes wide.
A fantastic crowd is here tonight as the boos echo around the stadium as Arrows fail to create anything once again. Pirates follow suit with a wayward pass from Matlaba.
A bit of a stuttering start from both sides, but Pirates are pressing well and not giving Arrows much time on the ball. They may reap the benefits of this style of play sooner rather than later.
Myeni tries to pick out Lekghwati at the far post but his free kick is not well thought out and is easily defended.
Pirates try to combine down the right this time but Ntshumayelo's weighted pass is a bit heavy for his teammates. Following this, a move sparked by Klate leads to a Pirates free kick around 30 yards out I'd say.
Mbesuma shoots! Pirates surge forward and Mbesuma decides to go for goal just outside the box but his effort is deflected out for a throw in by Krjauklis.
Collins Mbesuma is picked out in the box but once more Krjauklis is able to hold off the strong Zambian forward, which leads to a Pirates corner. Sangweni causes a bit of trouble in the box but the ref blows for a foul in the area.
Shot from Klate! Finally PIrates create a bit of space and Manyisa picks out Klate who is free on the left hand side of midfield. He fires over, but the game sees its first real effort at goal.
The pitch conditions do not look ideal here as passes in the midfield seem to be bobbling off the service. Pirates look to break with Daine Klate bursting down the left flank but he is defied by a great challenge.
Not the free-flowing start we were hoping for, but this may suit Arrows as they look to stifle their superior opponents. Some strong defending from Krjauklis who will want to be the rock in the midfield for Arrows tonight.
Pirates send the ball forward, but its a scrappy start to proceedings as both sides can't quite find the ideal passing range as yet. Pirates start to create a bit of rhythm but Hadebe fouls Ntshumayelo in the middle of the park. Quite a cynical tackle there.
Here we go, the game is under way! Pirates start us off.
The players are out on the field and kick-off is imminent in Durban!
Pirates will have to contain an electric Arrows midfield and will hope their players can control the game from the onset. Their record is fantastic against Arrows but records do not always decide football games!
Arrows are looking to keep compact tonight and not concede an avalanche of goals which was seen in their 6-4 loss against Platinum Stars early this season. Pirates will certainly hope for an open game with the in-form Collins Mbesuma leading their attack.
Golden Arrows: Steinbors,Tom, Zwane, Musonda, Krjauklis, Bilankulu, Zothwane, Hadebe, Nene, Mapolisa, Ntuli
Arrows are without their star striker Norman Smith and start with Mapolisa and Ntu leading the attack.
Pirates: Meyiwa, Jele, Matlaba, Lekgwathi, Sangweni, Jali, Manyisa, Ntshumayelo, Klate, Myeni, Mbesuma.
Pirates have named an unchanged line-up from the side which played on the weekend, but Benni McCarthy is not seen on the bench due to an injury he picked up in training during this week.
That’s it for the stats. With ten minutes minutes to go, here are tonight’s lineups.
When the teams met earlier this season, Bucs won 2-1 at home thanks to goals from Thulasizwe Mbuyane and Tlou Segolela.This game is expected to produce goals and everyone in the stadium is hoping for some entertainment on the pitch.
They won a second successive home match on the weekend when they beat Ajax Cape Town 2-0. The Durban side has four wins to its name this season – all of them have come in home matches.
The stats point towards a Pirates win, but Maqoba Mnghiti has been able to forge a comeback since he took over as coach, moving them from the relegation zone into 11th on the Absa Premiership log with 16 points from 15 matches.
Arrows have won three of their 12 home matches against Pirates down the years, suffering five defeats in the process.
In head-to-head stats, Arrows and Pirates have met in 25 league matches since 2000/01. The Buccaneers have claimed 13 wins compared to just four for the Durban side, while eight matches have been drawn.
The Buccaneers sit second on the log, one the same points as Platinum Stars but with a greater goal difference. They trail Kaizer Chiefs by a single point, as the AmaKhosi were able to win against AmaZulu last night and guarantee finishing top of the table at the mid-season break.
But Pirates have been excellent on the road this season, with five wins, two draws and just one defeat from eight matches.
This game is all about whether Pirates can keep in touch with Kaizer Chiefs, as they face a resurgent Golden Arrows side which has been impressive at home all season.
Kick-off is in around thirty minutes. 20 000 supporters have turned out tonight and Moses Mabhida is buzzing. Stand by for all the pre-match stats and line-ups. Tweet me @Dan0090 with any pre-match comments or predictions and I'll let the readers know all about it.
Good evening ladies and gentleman and welcome to Goal.com South Africa’s LIVE commentary of Golden Arrows versus Orlando Pirates. My name is Daniel Eslick and I will be taking you through all the action of tonight’s game.
Times In SAST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed