Orlando Pirates thumped Bidvest Wits 4-0 in a PSL match which was played behind closed doors at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night The Buccaneers were keen to keep their PSL title hopes alive having defeated AmaZulu FC 2-1 in their previous match which was played at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban over a week ago.
Even their fans behind them, the Sea Robbers go the job done, and subsequently qualified for next year’s Caf Champions League while keeping Sundowns on their toes going into the final two games of the season.
Milutin Sredojevic made two changes to the starting line-up that faced Usuthu, with Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Augustine Mulenga replacing the injured Thembinkosi Lorch and the suspended Mpho Makola respectively.
Sredojevic’s counterpart, Gavin Hunt decided to rest some of his key players following their 1-1 home draw with Polokwane City in a league clash which was played over the weekend.
Inexperienced galkeeper Kyle Peters and Young forward Abednego Mosiatlhaga started ahead of Darren Keet, and Lehlohonolo Majoro respectively.
The match got off to a lively start as both teams launched attacks in search of an early goal and it was the hosts, who broke the deadlock following some good work by Mulenga.
The Zambia international made a run, before playing a low cross which was fired home by Wits defender S’fiso Hlanti, who scored an own-goal to make it 1-0 to Pirates with Peters well-beaten.
The Clever Boys then took control of the match, but the Bucs defence which was marshalled by the improved Happy Jele looked solid and impenetrable.
Pirates looked dangerous every time they pushed forward and Justin Shonga tried to curl the ball into the top corner, but Pieters produced a fine save to deny the Zambian attacker.
Wits continued to commit defensive mistakes and they were again punished by Mulenga, who pounced on to Buhle Mkhwanazi’s back pass and beat Peters from close range to make it 2-0 to Pirates just after the half-hour mark.
Things went from bad to worse for the Clever Boys as Nazeer Allie fouled Mulenga inside the box and Bucs were awarded a penalty which was easily converted by Shonga to make it 3-0 to Pirates.
The visitors then contained the rampant Buccaneers until the match referee blew the half-time whistle and the score was 3-0 to the hosts.
Hunt made a double substitution prior to the start of the second half as Lehlohonolo Majoro and Reeve Frosler replaced Mosiatlhaga, and Allie respectively.
The Clevers Boys saw most of the ball after the restart and Vincent Pule was able to force Pirates keeper Siyabonga Mpontshane into a great save with a long-range shot.
However, Wits were still making errors at the back as Mulenga picked up a loose ball and he beat Peters from close range to make it 4-0 to Pirates with the attacker grabbing his brace in the process.
Bucs then defended too deep as they looked to launch counter attacks, but the Clever Boys nearly scored through Thabang Monare, whose effort narrowly missed the target.
Pirates have scored 22.9 percent of their goals in the final 15 minutes of the game and they should have made it 5-0 when Luvuyo Memela was sent through on goal, but he placed his effort wide of the target.
Wits pushed for a late consolation goal, but they were unfortunate as Majoro’s shot was cleared off the goal-line by Memela, before the former Pirates striker saw his penalty saved by Mpontshane in the closing stages of the game.
The win sees the Buccaneers remain second on the league standings, but they cut Mamelodi Sundowns’ lead to four points, while the Clever Boys slipped down to 14th place on the table.