Orlando Pirates secured a sixth Absa Premiership win in succession with a hard fought 1-0 win over Black Leopards at Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Thabiso Mokoena netted a late own goal to gift the visitors all three points in the Limpopo province. Victory moves the Buccaneers back up to second, just six points behind league leaders Kaizer Chiefs with the Soweto Derby looming in the near future.
Lidoda Duvha remain in 14th spot on the log standings, level on points with four other teams.
The hosts created the first noteworthy chance of the match with 29 minutes on the clock as Lesedi Kapinga picked out Thabo Matlaba’s run into the area, but the former Pirates favourite could only succeed in blazing his volley attempt wide from close range.
Leopards conjured a further chance two minutes later and were only denied the game’s opener by Wayne Sandilands who pulled off a brilliant save to keep out Edwin Gyimah’s powerful header.
The hosts continued to turn the screw and came close once more as Mogakoledi Ngele’s free-kick shaved the woodwork.
Sandilands had to be at his best once more four minutes after the restart, this time to deny Robert Ng’ambi from point-blank range and his saves proved pivotal in the outcome as the Buccaneers snatched a late winner, albeit through rather fortunate circumstances.
Mokoena, who had come on as a second-half substitute, the unlucky player in question as Vincent Pule’s cross deflected off the midfielder’s head and into the back of his own net as Pirates return to Orlando with all three points.
Black Leopards (0) 0
Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Mokoena og. 90+1′)
Black Leopards: Muleka; Mudau (Mokoena 79′), Zulu (Ng’ambi 47′), Masia, Gyimah, Abubakar, Bereng, Matlaba, Musonda, Ngele (Khutlang 71′), Kapinga.
Orlando Pirates: Sandilands; Nyauza, Jele, Maela, Ndlovu (Muwowo 82′), Mntambo, Monyane, Pule, Lorch (Dlamini 82′), Memela (Lepasa 87′), Mhango.