ORLANDO Pirates' recent poor results came to an end yesterday when they beat Bloemfontein Celtic 3-1 in an Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium yesterday
Bucs had gone seven matches without a win going into yesterday's match and failure to win this one would have put coach Rudi Krol under immense pressure.
Striker Katlego Mashego, who has been firing blanks recently, received a brilliant through ball from Thulasizwe "Juju" Mbuyane to open Pirates' scoring account in the 33rd minute.
Dennis Masina nearly doubled Bucs' lead on the stroke of halftime but Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb did well to deny him and force a corner.
The second half saw the Free Staters push forward for an equaliser and nearly got one when Moses Spandeel's rocket in the 48th minute forced Moeneeb Josephs to produce an excellent save.
Celtic were caught napping in the 62nd minute when defender Lucas Thwala rose like a colossus to score Pirates' second goal from a Josephy Kamwendo cross, increasing his season's tally to four.
Former Pirates striker Excellent Walaza pulled one back for Celtic from a Cecil Oerson cross but their joy was short-lived when Mashego grabbed his brace. Star midfielder Teko Modise was on the bench again, paving the way for Kamwendo to stake his position in the side and the Malawian did well to convince Krol to consider him for their next match.
A moment of madness ensued when Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi and Josephs lost their heads and nearly came to blows.
The win completed a miserable weekend for Free State sides against Soweto clubs after Free State Stars lost 1-0 at home to Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday night.
Pirates, who are fourth on the log, trail leaders and defending champion SuperSport United by six points. Celtic, on the other hand, are seventh eight points off the pace.
The weekend's matches marked the end of the first round.