Phakamani Mahlambi. Picture: BLOOMBERG/JOHAN RYNNERS
Phakamani Mahlambi. Picture: BLOOMBERG/JOHAN RYNNERS

Orlando Pirates’ current slump found a new depth with their 2-1 loss to Bidvest Wits on Wednesday night.

In the face of a larger and far more visible police presence and more security staff, the Bucaneers were stung by two first-half goals. The goals, both scored by Gabadinho Mhango, were enough to take the Students back to the top of the log on goal difference.

Pirates have not won in their past seven league matches. Their last win was a 1-0 win away to Chippa United on November 22. They also lost their unbeaten home record this season even though they showed a bit more fight than their 6-0 capitulation at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon.

They also finished the game with 10 men after goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane was sent off for handling the ball outside the box after some shambolic defending that has become a Pirates trademark.

Mhango’s two goals in the 29th and 45th minutes painted a picture of Pirates’ dereliction of their defensive duties.

Mhango waltzed past Happy Jele and Thabo Matlaba before unleashing a right-footed curler past the helpless Mabokgwane.

The headed goal from a Phakamani Mahlambi corner in referee’s optional time exposed the Soweto clubs’ tall timbers in Ayanda Gcaba and Jele in terms of positioning.

Mahlambi and James Keene ran at the re-jigged Pirates defence at will and Mabokgwane had to be at his best to prevent a first-half embarrassment. The goalkeeper kept out two consecutive shots from Mahlambi and Keene in the eighth minute as Wits sent out an early statement.

Having embarrassed Ajax Cape Town last week, they were in the mood to do the same to Pirates.

TMG Digital

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