Tue, Nov 25, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Memories of Meyiwa inspire dramatic Pirates victory over rivals SuperSport


Mourners sing as they hold posters with the picture of South African national soccer team goalkeeper and captain Senzo Meyiwa during his funeral service in Durban, South Africa, on Nov. 1.

Photo: Reuters

Match-winner Sifiso Myeni said memories of slain captain Senzo Meyiwa inspired Orlando Pirates to a dramatic 2-1 triumph over SuperSport United on Sunday in the South African Premiership.

“Our coach said at half-time that he did not recognize his own team — that is how bad we were during the opening half,” Myeni told reporters.

“We then went into a huddle and vowed to win the match in honor of our late captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa,” he said.

Meyiwa, who also captained the South African national team, was gunned down by armed robbers last month while visiting his pop-singer girlfriend in a Johannesburg township.

Trailing to a mid-first half Thuso Phala goal, Pirates were lucky not be further behind before Senegalese substitute Issa Sarr leveled via a 72nd-minute header.

Myeni struck the winner five minutes into stoppage time, firing a loose ball into the corner of the net from close range after SuperSport failed to clear a long throw-in.

It was his first Premiership goal of the season and lifted the Buccaneers four places to fourth, 12 points adrift of leaders and arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs.

SuperSport, who had Roscoe Pietersen sent off late in the game after a second caution, would have gone second had they won, but slipped into the lower half of the 16-club league instead.

“We became confident as the second half progressed, worked hard and deserved to win,” Serbia-born Pirates coach Vladimir Vermezovic said.

SuperSport handler Gordon Igesund, fired as national team coach last July, saw the game at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane very differently.

“We were the better team, but failed to put away our chances,” he said.

“I do not know where the referee got six minutes of stoppage time from,” he added.

Chiefs dropped points for only the second time in 11 matches as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns at Soccer City stadium in Soweto.

Teko Modise nudged Sundowns ahead on 54 minutes with a snap shot past goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo from just inside the penalty area.

Zimbabwean Cuthbert Malajila wasted a great chance to double the lead when he blazed over and Sundowns paid the penalty three minutes later.

Slick edge-of-the-box passing created space for three-time champions Chiefs and George Lebese scored his fifth league goal of the campaign with a low shot wide of stranded Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.

Eleazer Rodgers claimed the first Premiership hat-trick of the season as Platinum Stars ended a six-match winless run with a 4-2 victory over bottom club AmaZulu in Rustenburg.

Durban-based AmaZulu reacted to the seventh defeat in 11 matches by ditching Zimbabwe-born caretaker boss Wilfred Mugeyi and hiring Pretoria University coach Steve Barker.

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