JOHANNESBURG – Kermit Erasmus scored the only goal of the game as Cape Town City beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 in a tight Absa Premiership encounter at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane on Sunday.
The former Pirates striker came back to haunt his former side when he put the Citizens in front on the stroke of half time after a delightful delivery from the right flank by captain Thamsanqa Mkhize.
Erasmus would not the only former Buccaneer to be the talking point as City were forced to finish the half – and the match – with just 10 men when Mpho Makola was given his marching orders after being shown a second yellow card.
There was a time when Pirates looked like making a late bid for the title, but their recent form has seen them go six league games without a win.
Sunday’s loss ensured that they remained fifth on the standings with 43 points as they continued to struggle to close in on leaders Kaizer Chiefs and second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns, who are gradually making the chase for the title a two-horse race.
𝟭𝟬 𝗠𝗘𝗡. 𝟯 𝗣𝗢𝗜𝗡𝗧𝗦. 𝗪𝗘 𝗗𝗜𝗗 𝗜𝗧! 💙 pic.twitter.com/73Jlw16pqV
— Cape Town City FC (@CapeTownCityFC) August 23, 2020
Pirates’ coach Josef Zinnbauer has remained adamant in his sentiments, saying that they are targeting a respectable finish, especially after rescuing the team from the doldrums of the bottom half of the log-standings.
A chunk of ‘The Ghost’ believed that they could go all the way after Zinnbauer’s guided them to a run of seven wins, three draws and one loss in his first 11 matches in charge. Those results were inspired by the deft scoring spree of Ghabadinho Mhango.
But such has been the Malawians’ fall from grace that his lead of 14 goals was matched by Highlands Park’s striker Peter Shalulile on Saturday against Baroka FC.
In the second half, Pirates added more numbers into their striking contingent: Luvuyo Memela. Siphesihle Ndlovu, Mhango, Linda Mntambo replaced Mabasa, Nkanyiso Zungu, Vincent Pule and Paseka Mako respectively.
Pule nearly made an invaluable contribution before his exit, forcing Peter Leeuwenburgh into a flying save from close-range.
Despite those efforts, the Citizens nearly added a second but Erasmus’ goal was ruled out.