Thamsanqa Gabuza’s 29th minute strike for Bucs at Orlando Stadium preceded Paseka Mako’s goal on the stroke of half time before Thabo Matlaba’s strike from range went in off Chippa goalkeeper Zama Dlamini in the 65th.
Chippa were reduced to 10 men when Thamsanqa Sangweni earned a second booking for handling, believing he had been fouled, before referee Victor Hlungwane’s whistle had stopped play.
Bucs finally broke into the top eight – in eighth, above Golden Arrows on goal difference.
If they want to progress any higher, they will need to win more consistently, and to do that they need to play more convincingly.
But slowly, perhaps, they are getting there. Still the structure leaves much to be desired. Some big stars seem to be resting on reputation. Bucs still concede in critical phases.
But the results under Kjell Jonevret – just one defeat in 11 league and cup games – hold promise even if the Swede has notably gained grey hairs.
Chippa caretaker Mbuyiselo Sambu had a tough start. Facing Pirates away in his first match since coach Dan Malesela was placed on leave pending a dismissal this week was tough enough, then Pentjie Zulu limped off in the seventh minute, replaced by Zephania Mbokoma.
Pirates grafted into dominance. Abbubaker Mobara’s cracking drive was pushed over by Dlamini. Issa Sarr inexcusably headed over an open goal.
Matlaba’s cross on the run was slightly behind Gabuza at the near post, who improvised with a fine scissor-kick for the opener.
Gabuza earned a start as the Premier Soccer League (PSL)’s top scorer, Tendai Ndoro, sulked increasingly goal-dry on the bench. The big man ran to his coach to celebrate the goal.
But if there’s one thing this Pirates are masters of it is squandering their hard work. Chippa unlocked Bucs down the middle to put Mako down the left, who finished between Mpontshane’s legs.
Sarr and Mobara’s central partnership has been crucial stabilising Bucs. But Sarr continually pushing into a striking role confused the lines of the Buccaneers’ shape.
Pirates, who played to a decent gameplan in the first half, drifted in the second.
But Matlaba – whose famous shooting boots had deserted him this season – struck a wicked one from range that wrong-footed Dlamini, who then tried to save with one hand, which was never enough to keep such a scorching strike out.
Other PSL results:
Saturday, 29 April 2017:
Free State Stars 1 – 2 Polokwane City
SuperSport United 2 – 2 Kaizer Chiefs
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport