Mahachi on target as Platinum looms

By Wellington Toni

ZIMBABWE international Kuda Mahachi laid claim for a place in the
Orlando Pirates line up on Tuesday night as he hit the target in the
4-2 thrashing of Chippa United in the Absa Premiership.
Pirates, who had decided to rest in Johannesburg and fly into Bulawayo
on Friday morning for the Group B Total Caf Champions League match
against FC Platinum on Saturday afternoon, are second on the log after
the win.
And Mahachi, long a peripheral player since his move from Golden
Arrows, got onto the scoresheet in the 84th minute, two minutes after
coming in from the bench.
Fellow Zimbabwe international midfielder Marshall Munetsi played the
entire match and is definitely a starter for the Saturday blockbuster
at Barbourfields.
The Buccaneers took a third-minute lead and it came from a set-piece.
Thembinkosi Lorch swung over the free kick from the right-hand side to
the penalty spot where Happy Jele was on hand to power home the
header.
Pirates were enjoying the majority of the possession and territory but
the slippery conditions were making life difficult for them and they
were punished for their wastefulness when Jele scuffed his clearance
with the ball falling kindly to Tebogo Tlolane who put the ball
between the goalkeeper’s legs and in to the back of the net for a 23rd
minute equaliser.
But soon afterwards, Chippa conceded their second in comical fashion.
Phetso Maphanga headed a cross back to goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi who
slipped at the crucial moment as the ball trickled past him in to the
corner of the net for a calamitous own goal.
Vincent Pule, having won the spot kick, the Buccaneers striker dusted
himself off and coolly converted for 3-1.
But in the 68th minute the match was reignited as Joel Masutha’s side
were back in it once again and this time it was Pirates who conceded
an own goal as Innocent Maela failed to anticipate a flick-on from a
corner with the ball ricocheting off him and in to the back of his own
net.
However, the Buccaneers would put the game beyond doubt and seal the
three points in the 86th minute when Asavela Mbekile’s cross was
sidefooted home by substitute Mahachi.
Coach Micho, though was not impressed with his team’;s defence, which
has let in four goals in their last two outings.
“We need to look critically at ourselves, and we now have three days
before flying to Bulawayo on Friday to play our first match in the CAF
Champions League group stage.
“In two matches we have scored six goals, which is a good standard,
but in the same moment we need to be fully aware that conceding four
goals is something below any standard we should be conceding.
“This is a concern that we need to address, and we need to work as a
team with every intention to keep clean sheets. We are having
problems, we are not running away from that, and we shall address this
in due time and improve.”

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