Orlando Pirates 3-0 Polokwane City: Bucs beaten to PSL title despite win over Rise and Shine
Three first half goals from Thembinkosi Lorch (brace) and Vincent Pule helped the Buccaneers overcome Rise and Shine

Orlando Pirates finished as runners up in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) despite thrashing Polokwane City 3-0 in a game which was played in Soweto on Saturday afternoon.

Bucs had to secure a win in order to stand any chance of winning the PSL title after dropping points against Cape Town City last weekend in a game which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic unsurprisingly named an offensive team with attackers Vincent Pule, Luvuyo Memela, Thembinkosi Lorch, Augustine Mulenga and Justin Shonga all starting in attack.

Rise and Shine were hoping to end a successful campaign with a victory after losing 3-1 to Chippa United in their previous encounter.

Jozef Vukusic decided to hand inexperienced goalkeeper Lehlohonolo Phali his PSL debut, while Mohammed Anas spearheaded the visitors' attack with Polokwane City having already secured a top-eight finish in the league.

Rise and Shine got off to a bright start and they should have scored an early goal when Mbulelo Wagaba set-up Anas, but the latter missed the target from a one-on-one situation with Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.

The visitors were left to rue that missed opportunity as Mulenga sent Lorch through on goal and the latter fired past on-rushing Phali to make it 1-0 just seven minutes into the game.

Polokwane City were struggling to contain Pirates, who were dominating possession and applying pressure on the Rise and Shine defence which conceded again after failing to close down Pule.

Pule found some space on the edge of the Polokwane City box and he scored with a wonderful thunderous effort which beat Phali hands down to make it 2-0 to Pirates. 

Pirates then searched for more goals with the half-time break approaching, but Phali made two magnificent saves to deny Lorch and Mulenga from close range.

However, the two attackers then combined brilliantly and Lorch scored with a superb finish to make it 3-0 to Pirates heading into the half-time break.

Rise and Shine played much better after the restart with Vukusic having introduced lanky striker Bongile Booi as the visitors looked to pull one back.

Polokwane City came close to scoring when former Pirates winger Mpho Mvelase's cross found Booi unmarked in the box, but the latter's header hit the crossbar with Sandilands well-beaten.

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The visitors' defence looked solid and organized in the second half and they were able to contain the Pirates attackers which forced Sredojevic to introduce attack-minded Thabo Qalinge.

Pirates were hoping to continue their habit of scoring late having netted the majority of their goals (26.8%) in final 15 minutes of the league games this season.

However, Polokwane City stood firm at the back in the closing stages of the game and ultimately, the match ended in a 3-0 victory in favour of Pirates.

The victory saw Bucs finish the campaign in second place as Mamelodi Sundowns defeat Free State Stars to clinch the PSL title, while Rise and Shine ended the season in fifth place.

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