Relief as Pirates edge Maritzburg United

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Namibian forward Deon Hotto scored the solitary goal as Orlando Pirates bounced back to winning ways on Saturday, edging Maritzburg United 1-0 in a DStv Premiership clash played at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.

Pirates went into the match after a difficult week in which they lost 2-0 to Black Leopards on Sunday and drew 0-0 with Golden Arrows in a midweek encounter.

Their opponents suffered an early blow when veteran defender Clayton Daniels had to be withdrawn midway through the first half following a knock and had Nazeer Allie replacing him.

With just under six minutes before the break, Pirates took the lead through Hotto. Bongani Sam, who got his second successive start, delivered a first-time cross after receiving a pass from Thabang Monare for Hotto to tap home from the back-post.

Seeking a quick comeback, Ernst Middendorp made a double substitution at halftime. He brought in Daylon Claasen for Judas Moseamedi while Bongokuhle Hlongwane replaced Riyaaz Ismail.

However, Pirates took firm control of the game in the second half, making several attempts to increase the lead.

They kept the hosts on their toes with Vincent Pule coming close with a header while Azola Tshobeni also tried his luck with a shot.

At the other end of the pitch, the Team of Choice struggled to bother a five-man Pirates defence.

By Mthokozisi Dube

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