Durban — Kwameh Peprah’s second brace in as many matches propelled Orlando Pirates into second place on the log as they secured a 2-1 victory over Amazulu at the Orlando Stadium on Thursday night.
Luvuyo Memela continued his rich vein of form and gave Amazulu the advantage in the 4th minute.
Usuthu broke with one of their trademark counter attacks, Thabo Qalinge combining well with Bongi Ntuli on the wing and thereafter played a delightful through ball to Memela who did well to break through the home side’s defence and fired past Siyabonga Mpontshane from a tight angle and put Amazulu 1-0 up.
Peprah grabbed his third goal in the last two matches when he pulled the home side level in the 37th minute.
Deon Hotto did well to control a floated pass into the Amazulu box, his low cross bundled into goal by Peprah who miskicked his shot from the near post.
Peprah again repaid his coach's confidence in him as he gave Pirates the lead in the 47th minute.
The Ghanain international ran onto a Goodman Mosele through ball, after giving Amazulu goalkeeper, Neil Boshoff the eyes, he calmly placed the ball past the on-rushing goalie , giving the Buccaneers the perfect start to the second half.
The Buccaneers welcomed an Usuthu outfit with a bounce in their step after Benni McCarthy’s men halted an undefeated Mamelodi Sundowns runaway train last time out in Durban.
Pirates themselves were looking to make it back to back wins at home in a blockbuster fixture to close off the year’s DStv Premiership matches.
Usuthu included two former Pirates players in their starting line-up with in-form Memela and Qalinge looking to cause their former employer’s trouble.
Both sides played the match with great intent as they both contributed to a lively battle in the opening half, creating numerous excellent goal scoring opportunities.
Pirates continued to ride their momentum in the first 15 minutes of the second half as they pressed Amazulu into mistakes at the back while limiting the supply to Usuthu’s dangerous front men that included Augastine Mulenga who came on at the break.
Qalinge and Mulenga could’ve drawn Amazulu level in the 61st minute as two glorious chances fell for Usuthu in the space of a minute, but both men fluffed their shots with just Mpontshane to beat in the Pirates goal.
Thulani Hlatshwayo was introduced in the 67th minute as Pirates looked to tighten things at the back with Amazulu going in search of an equaliser.
The victory means Pirates wrap up a haphazard year 14 points behind log-leaders Sundowns while Amazulu slumped to a fifth defeat of the season.
The Buccaneers will return to action on the 16th of February as they welcome Golden Arrows to the Orlando Stadium while Amazulu will look to reboot their campaign with a crunch encounter against TS Galaxy at home.