Golden Arrows 2-0 Orlando Pirates: Abafana Bes'thende bring Bucs down to earth
Happy Jele, Orlando Pirates, January 2021
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The Buccaneers continued their inconsistent run in the league having recorded one draw, one win and one defeat in their last three games 

Lamontville Golden Arrows claimed their first competitive win over Orlando Pirates since 2017 when they emerged 2-0 winners in a PSL match at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Tuesday evening. 

Pule Mmodi impressed with finishing ability on the day as he scored in each half to inspire Abafana Bes'thende to their sixth league win of the campaign. 

Abafana Bes'thende were looking to record their second successive victory in the league after claiming a morale-boosting 2-1 win over Maritzburg United in the KwaZulu-Natal Derby encounter on Saturday. 

Mandla Ncikazi's side was without Pirates loanee Gladwin Shitolo, who was injured, and Lungelo Dube replaced him in central midfield, while Knox Mutizwa led the Arrows attack after scoring against Maritzburg.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers were also gunning for their second victory in a row in the league having secured a 2-1 win over Kaizer Chiefs in an enthralling Soweto Derby clash on Saturday.

Coach Josef Zinnbauer rewarded Siphesihle Ndlovu and Paseka Mako with starting berths after they came off the bench to grab a goal and an assist respectively against Chiefs.

Arrows managed to contain a confident Pirates side in the opening exchanges and they threatened first through Mutizwa as the Zimbabwe international's curling effort was brilliantly parried away by goalkeeper Richard Ofori.

The Buccaneers dominated possession and they probed while searching for the opening goal, but they found it difficult to get in behind the Abafana Bes'thende defence and test Sifsio Mlungwana in the hosts' goal-posts.

Thembinkosi Lorch, who was deployed as a target man, was often isolated up front with Nkosinathi Sibisi man-marking him and he was forced to come and fetch the ball in the midfield at times. 

Pirates resorted to playing long balls into the opposition's box and Mako connected with Deon Hotto's cross, but Mlungwana gathered the ball with ease.

The deadlock was broken in the 40th minute after some quick thinking by Michael Gumede, whose throw-in found an unmarked Mmodi and the latter fired past Ofori with a curling shot and Arrows were leading 1-0 at the interval.

Zinnbauer made two changes prior to the start of the second-half as he introduced Frank Mhango and Ben Motshwari with the Buccaneers looking to level matters and push for a win.

Bucs pilled pressure on the Abafana Bes'thende defence and they were awarded a penalty after Thabani Zuke was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.

Lorch then stepped up and ballooned his effort over the crossbar from the spot-kick, much to the delight of the Arrows technical team and players. 

The momentum was with the Buccaneers and Mlungwana produced a fine save to deny Hotto from close range, but the visitors were left vulnerable at the back as they were attacking in numbers.

Zuke played a long ball for Mmodi, who controlled it very well before beating Ofori with a low shot to make it 2-0 to Arrows in the 67th minute - completing his brace in the process.

The goal killed off Bucs' momentum and Abafana Bes'thende looked more dangerous on the counter-attack in the closing stages of the encounter.

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However, Arrows were let down by some indecisiveness in the final third with the likes of Mutizwa, Mmodi and Lindokuhle Mtshali opting to either dribble or pass the ball instead of shooting at goal.

Ultimately, the match ended in a 2-0 win in favour of Arrows and the victory took them to fourth place on the league standings and they will face AmaZulu FC in the Nedbank Cup Last 32 match on Saturday.

While Pirates slipped down to fifth place on the standings and they will be looking to return to winning ways on Saturday when they take on National First Division side Uthongathi FC in the Nedbank Cup 32 game.