A late goal by Fortune Makaringe was enough to give Orlando Pirates a deserved win in their DStv Premiership match against Chippa United at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.
It looked like the Buccaneers were bungling what should have been an easy win against a 10-man Chilli Boys when Makaringe scored.
Pirates should have done better than just the one goal, but with the win, the Bucs moved to third place on the log, four behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. For Chippa, the loss added to their problems as they remain 14th, with just five points after seven games.
Pirates were forced into an early change when Zakhele Lepasa injured his ankle in the fourth minute after an awkward fall as he tried to challenge for the ball. Gabadinho Mhango took his place.
The Buccaneers were denied a penalty in the eighth minute when Thabo Monyane was fouled inside the Chippa box, but referee Thandi Ndzandzeka waived play to continue. But television replays showed that it should have been given.
It was all Pirates in the first half but found the Chilli Boys unmoved at the back.
Mhango came closest to scoring for Bucs in the 40th minute with a header but Ayanda Dlamini – who was making his debut in goal for Chippa – was equal to task and tipped the effort over.
There was drama in the 43rd minute when the referee gave Sandile Mthethwa a straight red card after he elbowed Deon Hotto, reducing the visitors to 10 men.
Even with Chippa being a man short, they held their own in the early stages of the second half, not giving the Buccaneers much room and also threatening to catch them on a counter attack.
Pirates got a free kick just outside the Chippa box in the 59th minute, but Mhango’s attempt at goal from the set piece was blocked.
Chippa must have been thinking they could hold on for a draw with just over five minutes left, and they went on a rare attack.
But they were to left to regret that move as Pirates went on a quick counter and finally caught their defence flat footed, and Makaringe lobbed the keeper for the winning goal.