Orlando Pirates bounced back from their Telkom Knockout finals loss to humiliate Free State Stars 3-1 in the Absa Premiership on Tuesday evening.
Our crew were reliably informed that both coaches had to talk to the boys the need to remain focus.
The Buccaneers showed no effects from Saturday’s loss as they went ahead in the 13th minute when Thembinkosi Lorch smashed home from 12-yards out following a well-worked set-piece.
Stars, however, were no pushovers as they looked lively in the attack, with Harris Tchilimbou going close with an acrobatic effort after 25 minutes.
Three minutes later, the Buccaneers doubled their lead as Justin Shonga collected a pass in the box before skipping past one defender and firing into the back of the net.
Stars ended the half quite quite strongly, but they were let down by their finishing, most notably Tchilimbou, who squandered a headed chance before the break.
Stars reduced the deficit seven minutes into the second half when Bucs captain Happy Jele deflected Sinethemba Jantjie’s cross into his own net.
With Pirates losing control of the encounter, coach Milutin Sredojevic withdrew Vincent Pule for Musa Nyatama to add more numbers in the midfield.
Stars continued to push for an equaliser, with Jantjie going close by rattling the upright after the hour, while he was denied by Siyabonga Mpontshane just before the 70-minute mark.
Sredojevic opted for more fresh legs with time winding down as Paseko Mako replaced Shonga, who completed the full 120 minutes in the Telkom Knockout final.
Stars’ hopes of a comeback took a knock in the 88th minute when Sibusiso Masina was shown a straight red card just minutes after coming on as a substitute.
However, Pirates sealed the win in second-half stoppage time thanks to Linda Mntambo’s clinical finish in the box.