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Mabasa strike settles tense battle between Pirates and AmaZulu

Tshegofatso Mabasa scored the only goal of the match as Orlando Pirates secured a 1-0 victory over 10-man AmaZulu FC in the DStv Premiership at Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

This was the second win for the Buccaneers over Usuthu after they beat them 4-2 in the Nedbank Cup quarter-final last week at a packed Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

The play was evenly balanced in the feeling-out process, with both sides attacking with caution and defending in numbers. 

The best chance of the game fell to Victor Letsoalo when he was located by Abbubaker Mobara’s free kick unmarked in the box. The striker failed to utilise the opportunity, hitting the post from close range. They had been awarded a free-kick after Thabiso Sesane brought down Mobara on the edge of the box.

In the 17th minute, Thembela Sikhakhane cleared away what seemed like a dangerous cross into the penalty area. 


Moments later, AmaZulu were reduced to ten men. Mobara was shown a red card after making contact with Patrick Maswanganyi and shouting in the referee’s face as the official awarded the Buccaneers a free-kick.

With one man down, Usuthu started to back off, allowing the home side into them. However, the Buccaneers couldn’t find a way into Mothwa’s goals.

Towards the end of the first half, the visitors started to gain confidence again, creating more forward movements and scoring opportunities but Pirates remained solid. It was goalless at the half-time break.

Tshegofatso Mabasa secures victory for Orlando Pirates over AmaZulu FC
Thabiso Lebitso and Henrick Ekstein – Picture by Orlando Pirates

The Sea Robbers seemed to be exerting pressure on the opponents in the early stages of the second-half. But the KZN side kept on finding a way to avoid conceding.

In the 54th minute, Sipho Chaine made a big save, parrying away Augustine Mulenga’s close-range attempt.

He also denied Ben Motshwari from a distance after the midfielder won the ball from Kabelo Dlamini in the Pirates’ half.

Jose Riveiro started to make attack-minded changes when he introduced Monnapule Saleng and Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo, taking off Dlamini and Miguel Timm.

Saleng had an immense opportunity to put his side ahead when he was set up by Maswanganyi in the box. But his snap-shot was easily dealt with by Mothwa.


In the 75th minute, Tshegofatso Mabasa broke the deadlock, finishing from close range, as he ran into a well-weighted ball from Saleng.

The Durban-based side tried to come back to level the score-line but couldn’t find the breakthrough as the hosts went on to grab three points.

RELATED STORY: Pirates beat AmaZulu in thriller to reach Nedbank Cup semi-finals

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