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PSL

  • 27 January 2014
  • • 19:30
  • • Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg, GA
  • Referee: K. Qongqo
  • • Attendance: 3000
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Pirates 2-1 Ajax: Buccaneers up to eighth in PSL standings

Pirates 2-1 Ajax: Buccaneers up to eighth in PSL standings

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Goals in either half from Khethowakhe Masuku and Thabo Matlaba handed Orlando Pirates a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Ajax Cape Town in a PSL tie at Orlando Stadium

Pirates moved into the top half of the league for the first time this season, courtesy of the two strikes which were enough to see out the win, despite Granwald Scott's late goal which reduced the damage to one.

Ajax headed into the clash without their former coach Mushin Ertugral, who quit the Urban Warriors last week, citing personal reasons, with the Turk's former assistant Ian Taylor taking over in a caretaker role.

A tentative opening 10 minutes saw little in the way of chances, with Lehlogonolo Masalesa's sixth minute long-range effort the best of the early action.

The teams waited until the 32nd minute for the next opportunity, as new Pirates signing Helder Pelembe tried his luck from distance, but Ajax goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola was able to the task and made a straightforward stop to deny the Mozambican.

Not long after, though, the hosts got their just reward for bossing the midfield, as Masuku floated a cross goalwards, which drifted beyond Jaakkola and found the top corner, ensuring his first debut Premiership goal for the Sea Robbers.

Ajax got themselves back into the game after the interval, but Pirates did well to soak up the pressure and keep the Cape side out of the danger zone.

Just when Ajax looked like threatening, Matlaba's sublime finish doubled the home side's advantage and put further daylight between themselves and their coastal opponents.

Aubrey Ngoma found Matlaba in the area after a good run down the left flank, before the goal-scorer took a touch and curled his right-footed effort past a despairing Jaakkola, who could do little as the ball grazed the woodwork on the way in.

Ajax managed to pull one back 20 minutes from the end, after some good work from the head of striker Eleazar Rodgers allowed Scott to volley home unmarked, as the Urban Warriors looked to launch a comeback.

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