Late Qalinge goal sinks Cape Town City and sends Pirates to the top
Orlando Pirates did not control all of their Absa Premiership encounter against Cape Town City, but finished the match strongly enough to have felt they deserved their 1-0 victory at FNB Stadium on Tuesday night.
Bucs coach Milutin Sredojovic read the game well, and his substitutions worked for him.
Thabiso Kutumela and Lyle Foster’s second-half introductions brought an injection of pace to Pirates’ pressing and counter-attacks.
It seemed telling that both played a role in the exquisite counter that led to Thabo Qalinge’s 82nd-minute lone goal of the match.
City have notched some impressive victories playing poaching football, which was the ultimate hallmark of coach Benni McCarthy’s career as a striker. They had chances to sneak in and nab a win.
Ultimately, Pirates contained their visitors, then found the key to unlock them too.
The Buccaneers had the better chances early in the first half, but City might have had a legitimate goal disallowed later.
For Bucs, Thembinkosi Lorch was through one-on-one, but City goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters spread himself well.
The resultant corner fell to Qalinge on the edge of the area, who drilled the ball in and found Musa Nyatama to turn, control and blast a tantalising chance over.
From a City corner by Ayanda Patosi found Roland Putsche free for a powerful downward header that forced a fine save from Wayne Sandilands.
In the 32nd, perhaps City should have taken the lead. After a clever build-up down the right Lyle Lakay’s cross was low, with Lehlohonolo Majoro seeming to win the ball at the near post out of Sandilands’s hands. Referee Khulasande Qongco blew for a foul.
City began the second 45 minutes fairly camping in Pirates’ half, and with some half-chances.McCarthy had introduced Letsie Koapeng for Putsche at the break. Pirates counterpart Milutin Sredojevic responded by bringing in first teenage prospect Foster for Bernard Morrison, then Kutumela for Mpho Makola.
As Bucs did find a way out of their half the injection of pace in the frontline looked dangerous. Kutumela teed up Thabo Matlaba just inside the area, whose shot slipped wide.
In a fine Bucs counter-attack Musa Nyatama fed Qalinge down the left, who put Foster through, who attempted a chipped finish past Walters, Robyn Johannes clearing.
The quality of Pirates’ attacks out of their area had looked increasingly impressive and when they scored it was fully deserved.
In a sweeping counter Innocent Maela won the ball well within his half, fed Qualinge, who found Kutumela, who released Foster down the right.
The 17-year-old crossed, picking out the run of Qalinge unmarked at the far post, the nippy winger scrambling over his second of the season.
Other PSL midweek results:Tuesday 19 September 2017:SuperSport United 1 – 1 Chippa UnitedPolokwane City 2 – 2 Free State Stars