Cricket Sports

Pirates dent Sundowns title hopes

Cape Town – Orlando Pirates dealt a hefty blow to Mamelodi Sundowns’ Absa Premiership title hopes as they pulled off a 1-0 victory on Wednesday night.

Masandawana made a bright start and conjured up a big chance in the 15th minute when a free kick from the right flank picked out an unmarked Ngcongca but he struck the far post with his shot.

The visitors were all over Pirates and came close again two minutes later as Thapelo Morena hammered a shot on goal but Wayne Sandilands was up to the task and parried it away.

The Brazilians once again turned up the heat from a set-piece as a corner kick was whipped into a dangerous area but none of the Sundowns players could get into position to take advantage.

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Despite creating all of the chances in the early stages, Sundowns found themselves a goal down in the 30th minute as Pirates turned the tide with the opening goal.

Gabadinho Mhango made a clever run in behind and Memela did well to find him with a through-ball. The forward then placed his shot with precision to net his 11th goal of the season.

The Buccaneers appeared to take heaps of confidence from the opening strike and started causing real problems for the Sundowns defence with their determined runs into the final third.

Sundowns seemed to finally find their equaliser in the 78th minute when Gaston Sirino smashed a shot from long range. However, the ball struck the inside of the near post then bounced off the far post as well before spinning clear of danger to the visitors’ disbelief.

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Pitso Mosimane’s charges pushed to find the leveller late in the game but Pirates remained well-disciplined in defence and held on for a famous victory over the defending Absa Premiership champions.

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