Orlando Pirates close gap on Sundowns with Golden Arrows win
Orlando Pirates closed the gap on log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns to a single point as they defeated 10-man Lamontville Golden Arrows 2-1 in a controversial Absa Premiership clash at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday.
Goals from Thembinkosi Lorch and Siyabonga Dube sealed the win for the Buccaneers, who are now with touching distance of Sundowns but have played a game more.
Jabulani Shongwe pulled a goal back for the home side, but in truth they were second best in the contest.
The game will perhaps best be remembered though for the controversial sending off of Limbikani Mzava of Golden Arrows in what was clearly a case of mistaken identity from referee Thando Ndzandzeka.
The Malawian defender was already on a yellow card when his teammate Mzwandile Buthelezi committed a foul that was deserved of a yellow card, but somehow the match officials contrived to give the booming to Mzava and he was handed his marching orders.
Pirates were deserved winners, they created by far the better chances and apart from picking the ball out of his own net once, goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane had very little to do.
It took until three minutes after the break for Pirates to open their account as Lorch profited from an excellent touch in the box from Musa Nyatama to blast home the ball.
It was 2-0 on 77 minutes as Dube showed great determination to keep harassing the Golden Arrows defenders and knew little about the goal as an attempted clearance cannoned off him and into the net. It is his first goal in professional football.
Golden Arrows seemed to finally come alive after going 2-0 down and began to create some concerns for the visitors, and Shongwe added some tension to the closing minutes when he blasted the ball home from 16-yards.
Earlier on Saturday, Free State Stars' title hopes took a big knock when they lost 1-0 at Chippa United.
Abel Mabaso scored the only goal of a poor encounter that moved Chippa into the top eight.
Kaizer Chiefs were held 0-0 by AmaZulu at FNB Stadium, the second goalless draw between the sides this season.
Chiefs created opportunities, with their best chances coming from set-pieces as defender Teenage Hadebe saw his effort tipped onto the crossbar.