Saleng, Dzvukamanja inspire Orlando Pirates to victory over Maritzburg United

Monnapule Saleng, Orlando Pirates, January 2023Backpagepix
  • Saleng scored one and provided an assist
  • Dzvukamanja also on target for Pirates
  • The Soweto giants are up to third after 2-1 win

WHAT HAPPENED? Saleng opened the scoring on the stroke of halftime when he fired in a left-footed stunner that caught Maritzburg goalkeeper Ronaldo Leaner by surprise.

The Pirates winger took advantage of the space afforded to him on the right wing, cut inside on his strong left foot, before firing home from just outside the box to break the deadlock with what was his fifth league goal of the season.

Terrence Dzvukamanja then made the points safe with an excellent diving header as he peeled away from the defence to receive the ball after a well-taken free-kick from Saleng.

Tumelo Njoti would later take advantage of some poor defending from Pirates from a corner to hammer in a lose ball from the edge of the box to reduce the arrears five minutes from time.

With coach Jose Riveiro watching on from the stands as he serves his two-match ban, Pirates players were required to step up to the plate but it was not the case as the Team of Choice made life difficult for them.

Maritzburg coach Fadlu Davids who was coming up against his former team, handled by Mandla Ncikazi, his co-coach with the Bucs last season, set his team up to frustrate the Soweto giants with Thembinkosi Lorch not afforded any space as all his passing lines were blocked.

It was a Pirates player Kwame Peprah, on loan at Maritzburg from the Bucs, who threatened to spoil their party early on, and even in the second half, with the defence forced into a number of clearances.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Victory sees Pirates return to winning ways in the PSL and they are now third on the log with 31 points, one behind second -placed SuperSport United, who have played a game less.

Pirates had to work hard for their win against Maritzburg who gave as much as they received with only poor finishing letting them down.

ALL EYES ON: Lorch had made a sensational return to the team when he came off the bench to inspire Pirates to the win against All Stars but found the going tough against Maritzburg who kept a close eye on him, limiting his impact.

THE VERDICT: The Buccaneers lacked creativity from midfield and needed moments of brilliance to score. Riveiro will, therefore, have to find a formula for his team to easily break down stubborn defences going forward.

WHAT’S NEXT? Pirates make the short trip to arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs for the Soweto derby next Saturday.

Can any of these clubs challenge Mamelodi Sundowns PSL title dominance in 23/24?

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Can any of these clubs challenge Mamelodi Sundowns PSL title dominance in 23/24?

  • 24%No
  • 20%Kaizer Chiefs
  • 48%Orlando Pirates
  • 4%SuperSport United
  • 1%Cape Town City
  • 3%Other
11631 Votes