Reports & Previews

Golden Arrows 0-1 Orlando Pirates

Justin Shonga's first-half goal proved to be the difference as Orlando Pirates edged Golden Arrows 1-0 at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday night.

The Buccaneers grabbed the lead in the 20th minute, and that early goal proved to be enough as the home side failed to muster a response in a drab second half.

Pirates started the match on the front, pegging the hosts back in their own half for extended passages of play.

Arrows briefly threatened the grab the lead in the 18th minute but the chance went to waste as Danny Venter fired well wide of the target.

Abafana Bes'thende were made to rue that missed opportunity just three minutes later as Pirates went on to claim the lead, Justin Shonga collecting a neat pass from Luvuyo Memela before firing into the top-left corner with a curling left-footed effort.

Despite taking the lead, Pirates were unable to push on as Arrows began to claw their way back into the game.

Goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands almost gifted Arrows an equaliser just after the half-hour mark after failing to keep hold of Seth Parusnath's stinging shot, but Knox Mutizwa was unable to convert on the follow-up.

The home side created another great chance to equalise just moments before half-time but Mutizwa headed wide of the mark as Pirates went into the break with a slender advantage.

The second half offered up very little in the way of goalmouth action, with Pirates enjoying plenty of possession but failing to put Arrows under any real pressure.

The best chance of the half fell to Shonga in the 80th minute, but with just keeper Nkosingiphile Gumede to beat he fired wide of the mark.

Pirates were not made to regret that missed opportunity, however, as they held on the remaining minutes to claim all three points and keep their Absa Premiership title hopes alive.