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Stellenbosch v Orlando Pirates Match Report, 24/11/21

0 - 3
C. Makgaka (20)
D. Hotto (22)
D. Hotto (48)
Danie Craven Stadium
Stellenbosch FC 0-3 Orlando Pirates: Hotto-inspired Bucs end Stellies' unbeaten record
12:01 AM IST 25/11/21
Sibusiso Mthethwa, Stellenbosch FC & Deon Hotto, Orlando Pirates, November 2021
The Namibia international brought his A-game as he tormented the hosts' defence and grabbed a brace

Orlando Pirates returned to winning ways in style as they thrashed Stellenbosch FC 3-0 in a PSL match at Danie Craven Stadium on Wednesday night.

Deon Hotto hit the back of the net twice and Collins Makgaka scored the other goal as the Buccaneers claimed their first ever win in Stellenbosch after dominating the game.

The Buccaneers were boosted by the return of arguably their best central midfielder Ben Motshwari, who had been suspended by the club for an off-field issue.

Motshwari filled the void left by Abel Mabaso in the starting line-up as Pirates looked to return to winning ways after drawing 0-0 with Lamontville Golden Arrows over the weekend.

On the other hand, Junior Mendieta and Ashley du Preez, who had been instrumental in Stellenbosch's unbeaten run this season, led the attack for the home side.

Pirates made a slow start to the game, but once they took control of the game - they became dominant with Motshwari pulling the strings in midfield. The visitors pressed the Stellenbosch defence which saw Hotto miss a sitter after running onto Kwame Peprah's defence-splitting pass, before goalkeeper Sage Stephens superbly denied Fortune Makaringe.

The visitors took the lead in the 20th minute when Makgaka netted his first goal for the Soweto giants to make it 1-0 to Pirates, with the troublesome Hotto grabbing an assist after setting up the goalscorer with a header.

The momentum was with the visitors and they were soon 2-0 up after they were gifted a goal by Alan Robertson, who gave away possession on the edge of the hosts' box and Hotto fired past a hapless Stephens from a one-on-one situation in the 22nd minute. 

The two goals rattled the Stellies defence, but the hosts were awarded a free-kick in a promising area. Goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane produced a fantastic diving save to deny Du Preez from the set-piece and the score was 2-0 to Pirates at half-time.

Makgaka and Hotto continued to torment the Stellies defence after the restart and they combined to extend Bucs' lead. Hotto scored from close range to hand Pirates a 3-0 advantage after being sent through on goal by Makgaka three minutes into the second half.

Stellenbosch head coach Steve Barker made a triple change on the hour-mark as he introduced Jayden Adams, Judas Mosemedi and Robyn Johannes with the hosts looking to fight back and at least preserve their unbeaten record.

However, Pirates continued to attack and Olisa Ndah thought he had scored his first goal for the Buccaneers when he hit the back of the net from the rebound after his header was saved by Stephens, but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Mendieta was determined to grab a late consolation goal in the latter stages of the game as the Argentine playmaker hit the woodwork twice with two thunderous long-range shots and ultimately, the game ended in a 3-0 win in favour of Pirates.

Despite the win, Bucs remained seventh on the league standings - but they are now three points behind second-placed Stellenbosch, who are scheduled to face Royal AM on Sunday.

Pirates will now resume their Caf Confederation Cup campaign when they face Liberian side LPRC Oilers in a play-off round first-leg game on Sunday.