Orlando Pirates made it five games unbeaten in the DStv Premiership as they recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over TS Galaxy at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.
Goals in each half from Bandile Shandu and Collins Makgaka were enough to take the Buccaneers up to second place in the table courtesy of their first win in three outings, while the Rockets remain 13th following their third defeat.
Pirates came into the match having drawn three of the last four league encounters, while the Rockets were looking to build on just their third win of the campaign after beating Chippa United 3-1 in midweek.
The hosts offered the greater threat in the first half and were good value for their 1-0 lead at the break.
Galaxy had the first shot in anger though, as Tshegofatso Nyama lined up an effort from long range that sailed well wide of the mark in the sixth minute.
Terrence Dzvukamanja then failed to test the visiting keeper moments later after he too had a pop from distance, but Shandu would make their first clear-cut opportunity count on 14 minutes.
The former Maritzburg United midfielder lashed the ball into the roof of the net at the second attempt after being picked out by Deon Hotto’s pin-point long ball.
Kwame Peprah was a fraction away from doubling the Buccaneers’ lead on the half-hour mark as he latched onto Hotto’s threaded pass and lifted the ball over Marlon Heugh, only to be denied by the upright.
The Soweto giants fashioned one more chance before the break with Fortune Makaringe directing a cross from Peprah comfortably into the gloves of Heugh in the 39th minute.
However, Pirates wasted no time in doubling their lead after the restart as Makgaka was left with a simple-tap-in from close range on 50 minutes after being teed up by Hotto, who registered his second assist of the game.
The confidence was now flowing for Bucs and Shandu tested Heugh with a strike from some way out on 58 minutes before substitute Ben Motshwari fired wide of the target three minutes later following more good work from Hotto to pick him out.
The Mpumalanga outfit finally managed their first attempt on target soon afterwards, although Sinethemba Mngomezulu’s tame shot was easily dealt with by Siyabonga Mpontshane, who was called into action again on 76 minutes to prevent Masilake Phohlongo from pulling one back for Sead Ramovic’s side.
There were no further scares for the host team as they saw out the remainder of the contest to come away with all three points.
Pirates (1) 2 (Shandu 14′, Makgaka 50′)
Orlando Pirates: Mpontshane, Nyauza, Ndah, Mako, Shandu, Monare, Makaringe (Sam 74′), Hotto (Makhubela 74′), Makgaka (Motshwari 60′), Dzvukamanja (Lorch 60′), Peprah (Mabasa 74′).
TS Galaxy: Heugh, Sanoka, Seedat, Msimango, Munyai, Nduli, Aubaas, Brooks (Phohlongo 65′), Nyama (Ndwandwe 65′), Lekay, Mngomezulu.