Result: Pirates 2-1 Arrows
Date: 10 August 2012
Venue: Orlando Stadium
A stunning strike from Tlou Segolela gave Orlando Pirates a winning start to their ABSA Premiership campaign after they beat a lively Golden Arrows 2-1 at the Orlando Stadium on Friday.
Thulasizwe Mbuyane struck late in the first-half to cancel out the opening goal from Bonginkosi Ntuli and Segolela buried a sensational winner in the second-half.
Neither side really managed to get into their stride in the opening 10 minute but Arrows were lively and Stanton Lewis forced Moeneeb Josephs into a good save in the 16th minute with a low curler that the goalkeeper tipped around the post.
The opening goal would arrive moments later when Sifiso Myeni was stopped dead in his tracks with an excellent tackle from Thanduyise Khuboni. He then picked out Lewis who forced Josephs to parry and Ntuli was following up to tuck away the rebound from close range.
Pirates had the chance to hit back immediately with a free-kick inside the area but Arrows did well to clear the danger.
The Sea Robbers then suffered a blow when Ndumiso Mabena went down clutching his leg and was soon replaced by Mbuyane.
Benni McCarthy produced a weak header at the far post in the 28th minute while Siyabonga Sangweni made a fantastic tackle to deny Ntuli his second on the night.
Khuboni was a monster in defence for Arrows and crucially took the ball away from Mbuyane who looked set to get a shot on target in the 42nd minute.
Pirates would not be denied though and Mbuyane buried a sensational header from a Myeni corner to draw the game level just before the break.
The Buccaneers started the second period with more purpose and saw Myeni smash a shot just wide of the target three minutes in.
McCarthy then unsuccessfully looked for a penalty in the 50th minute before Myeni lifted another opportunity over the crossbar.
Andile Jali should have scored two minutes later when he was picked out by Thabo Matlaba but his first-time shot was unable to trouble the goalkeeper.
Segolela replaced Myeni in the 63rd minute and almost made an immediate impact only for his shot to be blocked before Daine Klate also saw his effort charged down moments later.
Lewis tried to respond for Arrows, who had been less effective in attack in the second-half, but his powerful drive flew just wide of the target.
The winning goal would then arrive in the 78th minute and it was well worth the wait as Segolela latched onto McCarthy’s header from far out to the left of the target and let rip with a stinging drive that touched the hand of the goalkeeper en route to the top corner.
Arrows failed to really trouble Josephs in the final few minutes of the game while Pirates could have extended their advantage, but no more goals arrived and the defending champions picked up their first three points of the new season.
Pirates: Moeneeb Josephs, Thabo Matlaba, Lucky Lekgwathi, Siyabonga Sangweni, Patrick Phungwayo, Daine Klate, Andile Jali, Manti Moholo, Sifiso Myeni, Ndumiso Mabena, Benni McCarthy.
Arrows: Pavels Steinbors, Siyanda Zwane, Ritus Krjauklis, Musa Bilankulu, Sibusiso Hadebe, Philani Shangwe, Souleymane Keita, Thanduyise Khuboni, Nkosinathi Ogle, Stanton Lewis, Bongi Nutli. By Sbue