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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Orlando Pirates cruise past Maritzburg United to keep top-3 chase on track

Due to their run to the final of the 2021-22 CAF Confederation Cup, Orlando Pirates have games to make up in the DStv Premiership with three league matches in a week to close out the season. The Bucs did excellently to bounce back from their CAFCC final defeat to RS Berkane by rediscovering their scoring touch in Tuesday’s 4-1 home victory over Maritzburg United.

Thembinkosi Lorch scored the opener and provided two assists while Deon Hotto tallied a goal and assist as well, preserving Pirates’ hopes of qualifying for the CAF Champions League or Confederation Cup next season. Hotto picked out Lorch for the 21st minute opener with a pinpoint pass to put the former Bafana Bafana member behind the Maritzburg defense before curling his shot past Marcel Englehardt in goal.

Just before halftime Kwame Peprah finished low past Englehardt following a low cross from Lorch to put the Bucs up two by halftime. Lorch then provided another sublime cross to find Hotto in the middle of the Maritzburg penalty area, who had all day to gather himself and fire past Englehardt. Maritzburg’s Friday Samu scored soon after but it was a mere consolation as Kabelo Dlamini restored Pirates’ three-goal edge.

Highlights from Johannesburg are below. The Bucs trail second placed Cape Town City by six points and all eyes will be on their road showdown against Royal AM, who are three points ahead and looking to secure a CAF club competition spot themselves.