Orlando Pirates ended a run of three Absa Premiership matches without a win by defeating Ajax Cape Town 2-1 at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Wednesday night.
The result – secured thanks to an unfortunate own goal from Rivaldo Coetzee and a strike from Sifiso Myeni – sees the Buccaneers (20 points from 16 matches) leapfrog the Urban Warriors (19 points from 16 matches) into 12th spot on the PSL table.
Prince Nxumalo scored the away side’s goal in the second half as they threatened a comeback.
Ajax had a nightmare start to the game, first losing key striker Nathan Paulse to what looked like a broken right wrist after an awkward fall, before Rivaldo Coetzee’s back-pass to Anssi Jaakkola slipped under the goalkeeper’s foot and went over the line for a comical own goal in the 20th minute.
Shortly thereafter Bucs almost doubled their advantage, with Thabo Rakhale touching Thabo Matlaba’s cross just wide of the target, and the hosts then also suffered an injury blow as Thabo Qalinge was withdrawn due to a knock to his hip and replaced by Mpho Makola.
The Pirates substitute had a great chance to score in the 40th minute, but he fluffed his attempted shot when faced with only Jaakkola to beat and then slipped to the floor in a half-hearted attempt to win a penalty which was rightly ignored by the referee.