Kekana Brace Downs Pirates

A brace from Hlompho Kekana helped Mamelodi Sundowns to a 3-1 win over Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

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It was the perfect start for Sundowns who took the lead after only 58 seconds when an attempted clearance from Abbubaker Mobara was blocked by Kekana, the ball ricocheting off his leg and finding its way into the net from 24-yards out, 1-0.

Kekana found the back of the net again in the 13th minute when he spotted Wayne Sandilands off his line and proceeded to beat him with a shot from just inside his own half, 2-0.

On the half hour mark Kekana almost found his third goal with a 30-yard thunderbolt, but his effort went inches wide of the target.

In the 34th minute, Pirates suffered another set-back when Innocent Maela had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Musa Nyatama.

The Buccaneers managed to pull a goal back in the 38th minute when Marc Van Heerden curled a 24-yard free-kick into the corner of the net, 2-1.

Pirates tried to find an equaliser before the break, but were unable to do so and entered the tunnel trailing by a goal.

The first real chance of the second half came just after the hour mark when a 22-yard free-kick from Kekana struck the outside of the post.

Pirates nearly equalised in the 71st minute when a shot from the edge of the box by Thabo Qalinge deflected inches over the crossbar.

Ten minutes later, Qalinge should have scored when a loose ball fell to him inside the box, but he fired wide from close range with just the keeper to beat.

Pirates threw players forward in the final 10 minutes, but they could not unlock the Sundowns defence.

Instead, Sundowns found a third goal in the 93rd minute when Anthony Laffor scored a 20-yard cracker on the counter-attack to wrap-up the match, 3-1.

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Here’s how they lined up:

Pirates: 30. Sandilands, 36. Van Heerden, 45. Mobara, 19. Chabalala, 23. Maela (14. Nyatama 34’), 8. Matlaba, 18. Sarr, 15. Qalinge, 3. Lorch (12. Morrison 74’), 5. Makola, 24. Kutumela (31 Gabuza 24’).

Sundowns: 36. Onyango, 4. Langerman, 29. Soumahoro, 32. Madisha, 20. Ngcongca, 7. Manyisa, 8. Kekana (18. Zwane 76’), 13. Mabunda, 27. Morena, 11. Vilakazi (28. Laffor 79’), 22. Tau (33. Billiat 69’).