Hotto strikes to give Pirates battling win at Royal AM

Orlando Pirates got their second win of the DStv Premiership season on Wednesday, after they edged Royal AM 1-0 courtesy of a Deon Hotto strike in an entertaining, high-tempo encounter at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

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Hotto got on the end of a fine move from Pirates in the 34th minute, as the Buccaneers moved to seven points from their opening four matches.

Pirates were desperate for a victory in this tie after suffering a disappointing 1-0 loss to Chippa United in their previous encounter. The Durban-based Royal AM, were also aiming to bounce back to winning ways after being comfortably 3-1 by Stellenbosch FC.

Pirates had an early threat with Bienvenu Eva Nga’s cross inside the Royal AM box, but the home side managed to clear the danger away. Minutes later, it was Royal AM who came close to testing Richard Ofori through a quick counter attack, but Tebogo Potsane was unable to control the ball.

Just before the half-hour mark, Nga found some space to unleash a shot from the edge of the box, but his attempt went wide.

Pirates would go on to take the lead with the game heading towards the break. A brilliant move by Bucs saw Thabiso Monyane spotting Deon Hotto inside the box and the Namibian put the ball into the net. 

In the second half, a prmising build-up by the hosts led to Potsane getting a chance to level the scores, but the winger’s shot was not powerful enough to trouble Ofori in the 55th minute.

The KwaZulu-Natal based outfit were eager to get an equaliser, as they threw everything at Bucs to try and unlock their back four. And Pirates didn’t just sit back, with the Soweto giants looking to extend the lead.

Shadrack Kobedi got a second yellow card late in the game and was given his marching orders by referee Abongile Tom.

Pirates will now hope for another three points on Sunday when they take on Gavin Hunt’s struggling SuperSport United. For Royal AM, this was a second straight defeat, and they will need to bounce back against Marumo Gallants on Sunday.

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