S INGLE shot fells s tars
Orlando Pirates cannot afford any more slip-ups in their quest to put up a strong challenge for the 2008/09 Absa Premiership title.
This is according to their goal-getter Siphelele Mthembu, who scored the solitary goal in their 1-0 win over Free State Stars at Ellis Park Stadium on Saturday.
It was Pirates' first win since their 2-0 victory over BidVest Wits on January 24, not a good record for a club that has signed an array of quality players.
What a great game it was, though only one goal was scored. Saturday's win also saw Pirates becoming the first club in the Premiership to beat the high-flying Ea Lla Koto this year.
Mthembu said they will now have to start showing consistency to be in the queue for the championship title.
"It's a great win and I feel good to have contributed to the success of the team, we really had to win this match to revive our hopes for the league.
"We are taking each game as it comes, the league is a marathon. There are several clubs still with a chance."
It was the third goal for the player also known as Shaka Zulu.
Sthembiso Ngcobo, Stars' top goalscorer on eight goals, said: "It was not our night when it comes to goals, we gave it our best shot. We'll bounce back."
Stars have themselves to blame for the defeat after wasting a host of opportunities in the first half.
As early as the fourth minute Bucs goalie Moeneeb Josephs brilliantly fisted a free kick from Ruben Cloete.
Four minutes later, Josephs conceded a corner after fisting a close range header from Paulos Masehe.
Stars stepped up the pressure midway through the first half and in the 33rd minute, Pirates' Dikgang Mabalane cleared a Siyabonga Mdluli attempt off the line. But Stars went to sleep in the second half and while they were yawning, Pirates took control.
It came as no surprise when Mthembu sent The Ghost into a frenzy when he cooly slotted Teko Modise's cross into the net in the 57th minute.
Stars regrouped in the dying minutes, but their fate had already been sealed.