Sport

Pirates stay on top after win over Stars

Staff Reporter

Orlando Pirates held their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership standings with a 2-0 win over Free State Stars in Botshabelo on Saturday.

Orlando Pirates held their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership standings with a 2-0 win over Free State Stars in Botshabelo on Saturday.

Goals in both halves kept a fighting Stars outfit at bay as the visitors stretched their unbeaten run to 11 matches.

Pirates dominated the first half, with former Stars striker Thulasizwe Mbuyane taking two shots in the first 15 minutes.

Both his efforts were saved by Stars goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, but Tlou Segolela broke through in the 16th minute to score from the edge of the box, giving Pirates the lead.

Pirates had a few more shots in the opening stanza but failed to capitalise on their chances.

Stars came out firing after half-time, with Petrus Mahlatsi taking their real first shot of the match three minutes after the break. He sent his effort over the bar.

The hosts continued to push forward and, four minutes after coming on as a substitute, Noah Chivuta missed from a long-range shot in the 57th minute.

Both sides had numerous chances in the second half and, while Stars looked dangerous in search of the equaliser, they failed to find the back of the net.

The home side’s best chance came in the 66th minute when Ayanda Gcaba sent a close-range header over the crossbar.

Pirates struck back on the counterattack and Andile Jali latched on to a pass from Segolela inside the box in the 77th minute to score for the visitors and stretch their lead.

Thabo Matlaba had an opportunity to close the gap in the 87th minute but he sent his long-range shot wide to the left.

Stars, without a win in their last six games, sank deeper into the bottom half of the table although they remain well clear of the relegation zone. - Sapa

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