Pirates thrash Royal AM 4-NIL

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The intriguing race for the second spot in the Dstv Premiership looks like it will go down to the wire. This after Orlando Pirates thrashed Royal AM 4-NIL at the Harry Gwala stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday afternoon. The match promised fireworks since there has never been a goalless draw between the two teams.

Royal AM started the match brightly and they almost scored inside five minutes, but Sedwyn George’s effort missed the target. Pirates started to find their rhythm and attacked with purpose. But the effort from Patrick Maswanganyi was saved by goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto.

In the 12th minute, the Buccaneers went on another promising attack on the left wing led by Monnapule Saleng, but his dangerous cross was desperately cleared by Ayanda Jiyane.

Royal AM went on the attack from a corner kick but the visitors did well to clear the danger from a scramble in the box. There was a controversial decision from the match officials in the 24th minute. Pirates talisman Patrick Maswangany was fouled outside the box and the referee pointed to a spot kick after consulting with the assistant referee. Maswanganyi dusted himself up to convert the penalty.

Saleng should have scored the second goal but his effort narrowly missed the target with the goalkeeper well beaten. George was unlucky not to equalize after his spectacular free kick hit the crossbar on the stroke of half time.

The Buccanneers started the second half strongly. Thalenthe Mbatha scored his first goal for the team after he received a defence splitting pass from Thalente Mbatha had a chance to score his second goal in the box but his effort was blocked by Royal AM defence. Pirates almost capitalized from the home team’s mistake at the back but the troublesome Mbatha was denied by the goalkeeper.

The Buccaneers were now in total control attacking relentlessly.

And it came as no surprise when the 19-year-old, Relebohile Mofokeng, broke free to score his team’s third goal in the 73rd minute. The visitors put the final nail in the coffin when Kabelo Dlamini scored a fortuitous goal seven minutes from time.

Pirates are now in third position on the log three points behind high flying Stellenbosch who are in second place. Both teams are vying for the CAF champions league spot next season.