Maritzburg United 1-0 Orlando Pirates: Team of Choice humble Buccaneers
Bandile Shandu, Orlando Pirates & Thabo Moloisane, Maritzburg United, September 2022
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Bandile Shandu, who was one of Bucs' standout performers last season, was kept quiet by the hosts in Pietermaritzburg

Orlando Pirates suffered their second defeat of the season in the Premier Soccer League when they succumbed to a 1-0 loss to Maritzburg United on Sunday evening.

The only goal of the match was netted by Amadou Soukouna whose second half strike earned the Team of Choice their first win over the Buccaneers since 2016. It is the 30-year-old striker's second goal in three league matches for the Pietermaritzburg side.

Coach Jose Riveiro was forced to make a change with Goodman Mosele having been red carded during Pirates' 2-1 win over Royal AM in an MTN8 clash last weekend. Thabang Monare replaced Mosele in the starting line-up, while Fortune Makarange was also handed a rare start this term by the Spanish tactician.

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The hosts adopted an attacking approach with Soukouna, Tumelo Njoti and Genino Palace leading the attack. Pirates loanee Bongani Sam also started against his parent club with coach John Maduka looking to ensure that his side returned to winning ways after losing 1-0 to Royal AM away in a PSL match on August 24.

Most of the ball was played in the middle of the park as the two teams battled for control of the midfield. There were no clear chances being created with shots being taken at goal flying over the crossbar or going wide of the target without seriously testing Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori and his counterpart King Ndlovu.

Maritzburg finished the first half the stronger of the two teams with Amadou Soukouna creating problems for the Bucs defence. However, Richard Ofori was in top form between the sticks as the Ghanaian goalkeeper pulled off two wonderful saves to deny Soukouna to ensure that the first half ended with two teams locked at 0-0.

Pirates played on the counterattack after the restart with Zakhele Lepasa, who had replaced an injured Vincent Pule in the 40th minute, making dangerous forward runs. The 25-year-old striker made a brilliant solo run outpacing his marker, but he was let down by his poor finishing - firing wide of the target from a one-on-one situation with Ndlovu.

Maritzburg were awarded a penalty after they had launched a quick attack down the centre with Olisa Ndah fouling Siboniso Conco in the box. Soukouna made no mistake from the spot-kick as the France-born striker beat Ofori in the 80th minute to hand the hosts the lead and ultimately, Maritzburg emerged as 1-0 winners after containing Pirates.

The defeat left Pirates on the third spot on the league standings and they are scheduled to face TS Galaxy on Saturday, while Maritzburg climbed up to the seventh spot on the table ahead of their clash with SuperSport United on Friday.