Sandilands saves two penalties as Orlando Pirates end winless streak against SuperSport

Wayne Sandilands of Orlando Pirates saves a penalty during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United at Emirates Airline Park on August 29, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Wayne Sandilands of Orlando Pirates saves a penalty during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United at Emirates Airline Park on August 29, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/Gallo Images/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates will have been relieved to bring to an end a six-match run without a victory‚ Wayne Sandilands’ two second-half penalty saves playing a sizeable role in a 2-1 Absa Premiership win over SuperSport United on Saturday.

Vincent Pule struck Pirates ahead in the 29th minute‚ before Luke Fleurs equalised in the 41st of an event-filled match-up at Ellis Park. Substitute Zakhele Lepasa’s scything run ended with a 58th strike that proved Bucs' winner.

SuperSport could have had more from the game‚ though. Two penalties fairly softly awarded by referee Siyabonga Nkomo‚ taken by Matsatsantsa strikers Bradley Grobler and replacement Thamsanqa Gabuza‚ were both saved by Sandilands.

Pirates had suffered two defeats and four draws in their last six matches. Bucs will be relieved that their goal drought is now showing significant signs of abating.

After a 1-1 draw against Baroka FC where Bucs ended a spell of five matches without scoring‚ Josef Zinnbauer’s team added two more on Saturday.

Kaitano Tembo’s young and exciting SuperSport suffered their first defeat of the bio-bubble‚ having won four and drawn one of their previous five matches since the return to football from the five-month suspension due to Covid-19.

It was a first half of two quarters. SuperSport probed from the start‚ but slowly Pirates wrested the advantage.

For Matsatsantsa‚ Maphosa Modiba’s chip across the area from the left in the opening minute found new Democratic Republic of Congo striker Cyprien Manziba free‚ who could not cleanly connect a volley‚ allowing Sandilands down to the save.

Teboho Mokoena’s one-two with Modiba saw the young star through‚ Sandilands taking the ball at the SuperSport midfielder’s feet.

For Pirates‚ Fortune Makaringe headed forward as Botswana centreback Thatayaone Ditlhokwe slipped on the intercept to allow Gabadinho Mhango in behind him. The top scorer in the PSL’s frustration in front of goal continued as Ronwen Williams stopped from a low strike.

Bucs took the lead as Pule received the ball from Thembinkosi Lorch with his back to goal and turned‚ striking powerfully from the edge of the area to beat Ronwen Williams at the left upright.

But SuperSport managed to go into the break level thanks to two more of their young guns. From Jamie Webber’s corner Fleurs got in ahead of Nkanyiso Zungu to head past Sandilands.

The second half was even more eventful than the first.

Grobler had sharp chances with a snap-shot and a header stopped by Sandilands.

Then fine skill and a pass threaded thyrough on the edge of the box by Lorch fed the direct run‚ dropping a shoulder to beat a defender‚ of Lepasa – on just a minute earlier – who stroked Bucs’ second past Williams.

SuperSport’s first penalty came when another replacement‚ Ghampani Lungu‚ went down under the challenge of Innocent Maela‚ but with contact having come outside the box. Grobler’s strike was stopped by the right leg of Sandilands.

The second came from Ntsikelelo Nyauza clipping at the ankles of Modiba‚ though with question marks on the extent of the contact. Gabuza’s spotkick was low and to the right of Sandilands‚ but lacking power‚ as Bucs’ keeper stopped again.

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