Orlando Pirates 1-0 Mamelodi Sundowns: Bucs humble Mosimane's men in Soweto
Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Fortune Makaringe of Orlando Pirates, January 2020
League top goalscorer Frank Mhango's 11th goal of the season was enough to hand Bucs a narrow victory over Masandawana

Orlando Pirates kept their hopes of finishing in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) top three alive by defeating Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in Soweto on Wednesday night.

The Buccaneers were looking to win two matches in a row for the first time this season having thumped Polokwane City 4-1 away last week.

Josef Zinnbauer named an unchanged team with Frank Mango spearheading the Pirates attack after scoring a hat-trick against Rise and Shine.

On the other hand, Masandawana were keen to get their title defence back on track having drawn 0-0 with Bidvest Wits at home last week. 

Downs coach Pitso Mosimane made one change to the team which faced Algeria's USM Alger in the Caf Champions League last weekend with Siphelele Mkhulise replacing the suspended Themba Zwane.

The two sides got off to a frantic pace with Luvuyo Memela firing the first shot on target which was easily saved by Denis Onyango in the Sundowns goal.

At the other end, Anele Ngcongca came very close to scoring as his header crashed against the upright with Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands well beaten.

The former Sundowns shot-stopper then produced a fine save to deny Thapelo Morena and the visitors were left to rue their missed chances when the home side broke the deadlock.

Mhango was sent through on goal and did not make any mistake as he fired past Onyango to make it 1-0 to Pirates much to the delight of the home crowd.

The visitors pushed for the equalizing goal, but Sandilands denied Sibusiso Vilakazi to ensure that the first half ended with Pirates leading 1-0 following in an enthralling half.

Former Pirates midfielder Andile Jali, who had a poor first half, was replaced by Tiyani Mabunda at the beginning of the second half. 

Masandawana did most of the attacking after the restart as they looked to restore parity, but the Bucs defence which was led by Happy Jele looked solid and compact. 

Gaston Siriano caused havoc with his pace and shooting ability as he narrowly missed the target with a long-range shot, with the defending champions pushing for the equalizing goal. 

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The Uruguayan playmaker then pulled the trigger from range and his thunderous effort beat Sandilands, but the woodwork came to Pirates' rescue in the closing stages. 

The home side then contained Mosimane's men in the dying minutes of the match and ultimately, Pirates secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sundowns on the night.

The victory took the Buccaneers to the fifth spot on the league standings, while Masandawana remained second on the log - ninth points behind the leaders, Kaizer Chiefs with 13 games left.