Chippa United 0-3 Orlando Pirates: In-form Buccaneers close gap on Mamelodi Sundowns
Deon Hotto, Orlando Pirates & Isaac Nhlapo, Chippa United, March 2021
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Bucs secured a morale-boosting win ahead of their Confederation Cup clash with Setif which will take place in Ghana

Orlando Pirates maintained their good form in the PSL by claiming a 3-0 victory over Chippa United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday evening.

Goals from Deon Hotto, Ben Motshwari and Riaan Hanamub (own-goal) inspired the Buccaneers to a convincing victory in Port Elizabeth.

The Chilli Boys were banking on their five-match unbeaten run having being held to a 0-0 draw by Cape Town City in a league encounter in midweek.

Bienvenu Eva Nga, who netted the first hat-trick of the season in the league, was recalled to the starting line-up by coach Dan Malesela after Chippa had failed to score against City.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers were looking to extend their seven-match unbeaten run after securing a 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic in a league game in midweek.

Thabang Monare returned to the starting line-up as coach Josef Zinnbauer made one change to the starting line-up which faced Celtic.

There was pace, movement and creativity from the Pirates forward line in the opening stages and the Chippa defence was unsettled by Hotto, Linda Mntambo and Vincent Pule.

Mtshali produced two great saves to deny Hotto and Pule, before Paseka Mako's attempt was blocked on the goal-line by Pirates loanee Sandile Mthethwa. 

The Chilli Boys did threaten following a rare attack by the home side and Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori made a fantastic save to deny Sizwe Mdlinzo at the near-post.

Mtshali then made a costly mistake as he came out and miskicked the ball completely and it fell kindly for Hotto, who fired into an empty net to make it 1-0 to Pirates in the 39th minute.

Pirates were soon 2-0 up in the 44th minute as Hanamub netted an own-goal when he directed his compatriot Hotto's shot into the back of the net to make it 2-0 to Pirates.  

Chippa dominated possession after the restart with Pirates happy to sit back and launch quick counter-attacks through their pacey attackers, Hotto, Pule and Mntambo.

The Buccaneers had an opportunity to extend their lead against the run of play when Siphesihle Ndlovu delivered a cross to Motshwari, whose shot was superbly pushed away by Mtshali.

Ofori then made two fine saves to deny Eva Nga and Peter Maloisane as the Chilli Boys pushed for the equalizing goal and Zinnbauer reacted by introducing Frank Mhango and Bongani Sam.

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The Chilli Boys controlled the match in the latter stages of the game, but they were vulnerable at the back and they were punished by Motshwari, who netted with a low shot in the 90th minute to seal Pirates' 3-0 win. 

Ultimately, Pirates ran out 3-0 winners over Chippa and the win took them to second place on the league standings - a point behind leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns, who have four games in hand, while the Chilli Boys remained 13th on the log.

Chippa will now lock horns with AmaZulu FC in a league game on March 10 and Pirates are set to face Algerian side ES Setif in the Caf Confederation Cup on the same day.