Pirates close gap on Sundowns in Chippa United thrashing

Orlando Pirates took full advantage of league leader Sundowns' slip-up when they thrashed Chippa United 4-2 in Port Elizabeth on Sunday afternoon.

Orlando Pirates beat Chippa United 4-2 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Picture: Twitter/@Orlandopirates

JOHANNESBURG - Orlando Pirates took full advantage of league leader Sundowns' slip-up when they thrashed Chippa United 4-2 in Port Elizabeth on Sunday afternoon.

Sundowns had dropped valuable points just 24 hours prior to Pirates' win when they came from a goal down to draw 1-1 against SuperSport United in a thrilling Tswane Derby at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

The sea robbers didn’t have it all their way in the encounter: the Chilli Boys struck first when Mxolisi Macuphu’s snapshot put Chippa ahead in the 18th minute of the game, through some nice interplay between the attacking players.

Bernard Morrison then equalised for Pirates seven minutes later when referee Victor Hlongwane awarded the visitors a penalty for a handball in the box. Morrison converted from the spot to put Pirates level. Jackson Mabokgwane then produced a fine save to deny former Pirates man Thabo Rakhale just before halftime. The game was played at a fast pace, with both sides throwing everything at each other.

The upright then denied Musa Nyatama from putting the Buccaneers in front for the first time. Justin Shonga’s first goal for the club though did put Pirates ahead in the 72nd minute, but Chippa were not prepared to lie down just yet. Veteran striker Katlego Mashego drew level for the home side 10 minutes later.

Thembinkosi Lorch’s fine header wrestled the lead back in Pirates favour again, before Shonga’s powerful shot put the result beyond doubt for Pirates in added time.

The 4-2 puts Pirates up to second on the log, just four points adrift from Sundowns at the top.