Josef Zinnbauer (Gallo Pictures)
Tremendous-sub Gabadinho Mhango was the person of the hour as he popped up on the demise to fireside Orlando Pirates to a dramatic 1-Zero victory over Maritzburg United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday night.
The primary half proved to be a intently contested affair with goalscoring probabilities at a premium for each groups.
Pirates began brightly and may have grabbed the lead contained in the opening two minutes of play. Nonetheless, the possibility got here to nothing as Thembinkosi Lorch fired excessive and extensive after being teed up by Ben Motshwari from the byline.
Arrows laboured to create their first noteworthy likelihood and it lastly arrived on 19 minutes, Thabiso Kutumela seeing his shot from a decent angle blocked away for a nook by the Pirates defence.
And it was extra of the identical after the cooling break on 25 minutes, with Maritzburg trying threatening with out managing to discover a breakthrough within the remaining third, whereas Pirates had been seemingly prepared to bide their time as they prodded and probed the United defence.
Nonetheless, Pirates completed the half on the entrance foot after twice going near breaking the impasse.
Lorch’s right-footed half-volley on 42 minutes was saved out by Richard Ofori within the Maritzburg objective, earlier than Vincent Pule struck the woodwork with a stinging shot in injury-time.
With the match finely poised at Zero-Zero, it was Maritzburg who lodged the primary noteworthy likelihood of the second stanza, ahead Bongokuhle Hlongwane seeing his curling effort turned away from hazard by Bucs gloveman Wayne Sandilands simply earlier than the hour mark.
The 2 opposing coaches opted to shake issues up after the second-half cooling break, making a string of substitutions in anticipation of a tricky remaining spell.
And, simply when it seemed like the 2 groups could be pressured to accept a share of the spoils, Pirates hit Maritzburg with a sucker punch within the first minute of harm time.
Substitute Mhango latched onto a move from Kabelo Dlamini earlier than rifling a shot previous Ofori and into the again of the web.
– TEAMtalk media