Orlando Pirates climb to second place with win over Bloemfontein Celtic
Musa Nyatama scored against his old club with his first goal for Orlando Pirates as the Buccaneers beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 on Sunday and climbed to second place on the Premier Soccer League standings.
They are now a point behind leaders Baroka FC but incredibly have won only four of their 12 league games this season.
Nyatama’s strike was only the ninth goal of the season for Pirates‚ which speaks to the poverty of football that the PSL is experiencing at the moment.
Pirates had not won in their previous six league games but have broken that drought to deny Telkom Knockout finalists Bloemfontein Celtic a convincing warm up for their upcoming cup final against Bidvest Wits in Durban.
Sunday’s game was largely a snore fest‚ punctuated by weak crosses‚ loss of possession and poor decision making.
The heat meant the game was never going to be able to demand a decent tempo and so most of the passing and movement was at pedestrian pace.
Pirates had Thamsanqa Sangweni back in midfield but their problems remain upfront where the final touch is increasingly hurried and/or ill thought.
Again‚ Thabo Qalinge was guilty of over elaboration while Mpho Makola did not take shots when he could.
Celtic‚ for their part‚ circulated the ball into an almost comatose state but when they went forward easily lost possession.
Midfielder Lantshene Phalane tried to liven up matters with a long range shot in the 13th minute when he spotted Jackson Mabokgwane off his line but was off target.
Pirates’ only real chance of the first half came when Luvuyo Memela’s free kick forced Patrick Tignyemb to make a characteristically flamboyant save.
Celtic went narrowly close through Ndumiso Mabena shortly after the break but Nyatama’s goal was the only significant event of the second half.
Nyatama’s persistence was a big part of the goal with Gabuza assisting and Kabelo Mahlasela failing to clear and Nyatama picking up the loose ball to toe-poke it home in the 63rd minute.