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Orlando Pirates v Black Leopards Match Report, 06/05/2021

3 - 0
T. Mabasa (47)
T. Mabasa (67)
F. Mhango (86)
Orlando Stadium
Orlando Pirates 3-0 Black Leopards: Bucs thrash Lidoda Duvha to keep PSL top two hopes alive
17:50 BST 06/05/2021
Rodney Ramagalela of Black Leopards challenges Bongani Sam of Orlando Pirates, May 2021
The Buccaneers boosted their ambitions of qualifying for next season's Caf Champions League after collecting maximum points at home 

Orlando Pirates returned to winning ways in style as they thrashed Black Leopards 3-0 in a PSL match which took place at Orlando Stadium on Thursday evening.

Tshegofatso Mabaso grabbed a second-half brace, before Frank Mhango came off the bench to put his name on the scoresheet in a match that was completely dominated by Bucs. 

The Buccaneers were targeting nothing but a win having suffered a 3-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday and they were also winless in two league games. 

Bongani Sam, Nkanyiso Zungu, Wayde Jooste and Kabelo Dlamini were given rare starts by coach Josef Zinnbauer, who was keen to ensure that Pirates bounced back to winning ways.

Lidoda Duvha were looking to win two matches in a row in the league for the first time this season having edged out Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) 2-1 on Saturday.

Coach Lehlohonolo Seema made one change to the team which faced Tshakhuma with Donald Makgetlwa replacing the suspended Wiseman Maluleke in the starting line-up.

Pirates dominated possession with Zungu dictating the tempo of the match from midfield and also spreading forward passes searching for the front three, Dlamini, Mabasa and Deon Hotto.

Hotto was played in nicely by Dlamini and the Namibia international placed his low shot wide of the target before Innocent Maela's glancing header narrowly missed goalkeeper Jonas Mendes' right upright.

Bucs continued to create chances, but they were struggling to hit the target as Siphesihle Ndlovu's curling effort missed Mendes' left upright and Mabasa ballooned his effort over the crossbar from close range.

The hosts did register their maiden shot on target when Zungu's long-range shot was blocked by Mendes and the unmarked Thulani Hlatshwayo failed to keep his header on target on the stroke of half-time.

With Pirates having dominated the first half, Seema pulled out Makgetlwa and introduced Thabiso Mokoena prior to the start of the second half as Leopards looked to take control of the game.

However, the Soweto giants broke the deadlock two minutes into the second half when Jooste's delightful cross was turned home by Mabasa from close range to hand Pirates a 1-0 lead as the hosts' pressure finally paid off. 

Jooste was a menace for Leopards to deal with down the right flank all night and he delivered a quality cross for Mabasa, who scored to make it 2-0 to Pirates in the 67th minute after his header had rebounded off the upright.

Zinnbauer then introduced Mhango and the Malawi international made an impact in the game as he fired past Mendes with a low shot to seal Pirates' 3-0 win over Leopards in the 86th minute with Hotto providing the assist.

The emphatic victory saw Pirates climb up to fourth place on the PSL standings - eight points behind second-placed AmaZulu FC, but the former have a game in hand and they will face Stellenbosch FC on May 11.

While Leopards remained 16th on the standings as their relegation woes worsened and they are set to take on Chippa United on May 12.