Galaxy out of danger zone after beating Pirates
Loss dashes Bucs’ CAF dream
Orlando Pirates' quest to earn a second spot and qualify for the CAF Champions League suffered a blow after they lost 0-1 to TS Galaxy in the DStv Premiership match at Mbombela Stadium yesterday.
The Buccaneers needed a victory to close the gap between them and second place Royal AM to three but failed to do that as Lefa Hlongwane’s first-half strike gave Galaxy all three points.
It was a needed victory for the Rockets with that seeing them move from the second from the bottom to 13th on the log table with 26 points and will now have a belief that they will survive relegation.
As for Pirates, it was a disappointing result, and one of their main problems is the failure to score goals.
They have not scored in their past three matches against relegation-fighting teams, Baroka, Chippa United, and Galaxy.
The results have put more pressure on co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids with the side now in danger of missing out on Champions League football and Confederation Cup next season.
With the side failing to score goals in the past, Ncikazi and Davids started with false number nine in Deon Hotto and the ineffective Terrence Dvukamanja and despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession, they could not trouble Galaxy keeper Buthelezi.
Galaxy coach Sead Ramavic started with Augustine Kwem on the bench and used Lindokuhle Mbatha as a false number nine to confuse Pirates.
And that proved to be a clever move as a cut-back by Mbatha saw Hlungwane netting the only goal late in the second half.
The home side opted to sit back and wait for a counterattack and nearly caught the Buccaneers on a few occasions.
Pirates continued to be vulnerable on transitions and were lucky not to have conceded the second before the interval.
The Buccaneers pinned the Rockets in their half after the interval, with attack after attack but could not create enough decent scoring opportunities which would have seen them find the equalizer.
In the end, Galaxy defended well to earn their win and move away from the danger zone.
Pirates will travel to Libya this week for their Confederation Cup semifinal first leg against Al Ahly Tripoli on Sunday at 6pm.
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