It’s an unusually early PSL kick-off as Orlando Pirates and Supersport United square off at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday at 13:30.
The Buccaneers are out of the title race and square off against a side still in it, mathematically, in what will be a grudge match.
This is after the reverse fixture ended in embarrassment for the Soweto giants, who suffered what remains their heaviest defeat of the season, going down 3-0 at Mbombela Stadium last August.
Orlando Pirates 2-1 Supersport United: Relive the live scores here
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Orlando Pirates have been boosted by the return of Zambian striker Justin Shonga, whose suspension has been lifted by the club.
His availability could help in an area which has been a problem for the Bucs – converting chances into goals.
Pirates have found the net just once since the PSL restart, but assistant coach Fadlu Davids is hopeful that they can rediscover their form.
“We know SuperSport is really strong in terms of their transition play. They really are (an) organised unit especially in zone two block. But it’s not so much about SuperSport. We know the game brings a lot of goals. It’s about us getting back to ourselves, us getting back to the Pirates way, us getting back to believing in the way we play.”
Fadlu Davids, Orlando Pirates assistant coach
Orlando Pirates squad
Starting XI: Sandilands, Maela, Jele, Nyauza, Monyane, Zungu, Motshwari, Makaringe, Pule, Mhango, Lorch. Subs: Mpontshane, Ndengane, Mabaso, Mntambo, Dlamini, Ndlovu, Memela, Lepasa, Mabasa.
Supersport United squad
Starting XI: Williams, Bhasera, Ditlhokwe, Fleurs, Nhlapo, Mokoena, Mbule, Webber, Modiba, Manziba, Grobler. Subs: Pule, Kekana, Khumalo, Donn, Moralo, Appollis, Mahachi, Lungu, Gabuza.
PSL match report and highlights
Wayne Sandilands was the hero of the day on Saturday, making two penalty saves to safeguard Orlando Pirates lead as they ran off 2-1 victors over Supersport United, in the process claiming their first win since the PSL restart.
Goal for the Buccaneers were provided by Vincent Pule and Zakhele Lepasa, each coming on either side of the first-half equaliser provided by Supersport defender Luke Fleurs.
The hosts survived a sustained period of attack from Matsatsansa early on, where their only real chance at goal came through Gabadinho Mhango in the 20th minute.
Starved of goal-scoring opportunities, Pirates had to make do with the few opportunities they had, and eventually went ahead in the 26th minute through a stunning goal from Pule, who beat Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams with a blinder.
Supersport responded after being awarded six corners inside the first half, with Jamie Webber finding Fleurs’ head to make it 1-1 with 41 minutes gone.
Lepasa was introduced in the second half, and his first touch of the game proved decisive as he collected a well-weighted pass from Thembinkosi Lorch to restore Pirates lead.
Sandilands, who had been having a good game already, pulled off two brilliant saves from the spot.
Bradley Grobler was the first to be denied by the 37-year-old, who stuck out out his leg to keep the penalty out.
Not long after, it was former Bucs striker Thamsanqa Gabuza standing before the penalty spot, but Supersport could not pull level with the veteran shot-stopper dived to his left to pull off another stunning save.
Those stops wouuld prove crucial, as Pirates held on for a crucial victory.