Orlando Pirates 0-1 Bidvest Wits: Clever Boys strike late to hand Bucs first league defeat of the season
Haashim Domingo scored the only goal of the match in the closing stage of the game after the Pirates defence was caught napping

Orlando Pirates suffered a 1-0 defeat to Bidvest Wits in a PSL match which was played at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

Milutin Sredojevic decided to make one change to the team that faced SuperSport United in the 2018 MTN8 Cup quarter-final match at home last weekend.

Musa Nyatama made his return to the Bucs starting line-up as the Buccaneers looked to return to winning ways after losing to SuperSport on penalties.

Sredojevic's counter-part, Gavin Hunt named an unchanged team with his side having recorded a convincing 3-1 win over Kaizer Chiefs away in a PSL match last week.

Hunt was making his return to the Wits bench having missed the first two league games against Free State Stars and Chiefs due to suspension.

The four-time PSL title-winning coach came face to face with Ben Motshwari, Xola Mlambo and Vincent Pule, who all started for Pirates having joined the club from Wits this year.

The match got off to a lively start and both goalkeepers were called into action within the first 20 minutes of the game as the teams searched for an early goal.

Mxolisi Macuphu forced Pirates keeper Siyabonga Mpontshane into a magnificent fingertip save after being set-up by in-form Wits attacking midfielder Deon Hotto.

The Buccaneers have scored 50% of their goals between minutes 15-30 in the league this season and they came very close to scoring in the 20th minute. 

Mlambo tried his luck from distance with a well-taken shot, but Wits shot-stopper Darren Keet produced a brilliant fingertip - directing the ball over the crossbar.

The hosts had gained control of the game with 2017/18 Pirates Player of the Season Nyatama dictating terms in the middle of the park.

Pule also pulled the trigger from range and his curling effort hit the side-netting as former Clever Boys players looked to haunt Hunt's side.

It should have been 1-0 to Pirates at the interval after Justin Shonga found himself in a one-on-one situation with South Africa international Keet.

Pule intercepted Wits defender S'fiso Hlanti's poor pass and he set-up Shonga, who was somehow denied by Keet from close range - as the visitors survived a scare.

Wits were then able to contain a dominant Pirates side and the score was 0-0 at the interval.

Gift Motupa, who spent last season out on loan at Baroka FC from Pirates, was trying too hard to impress for his new club and he was tightly marked by Happy Jele.

On the other hand, Pule was having a good game against his former employers and he came very close to netting his first goal for the Buccaneers.

The 26-year-old beat his marker in the middle of the park, before making a run towards goal and curling the ball past Keet, but he was unfortunate as the ball hit the upright.

The Clever Boys went into this encounter having scored three goals in each of their first two league games playing an exciting brand of attacking football.

The visitors did eventually break the deadlock through their new attacking midfielder Haashim Domingo, who scored against run of play with 10 minutes left on the clock.

The former South Africa under-20 international beat Nyatama, before playing a low cross which was deflected home by Gladwin Shitolo to make it 1-0 to Wits.

Article continues below

Hunt then introduced defensive minded German player Denis Weidlich as the visitors looked to contain the Soweto giants in the latter stages of the game.

Ultimately, the game ended in a 1-0 victory in favor of Wits on the night with Pirates recording their first league defeat of the season.

As a result, Wits extended their lead at the top of the league standings, while Pirates slipped down to sixth place on the table.

Comments ()