Thivhavhudzi Ndou (own-goal) and Vincent Pule netted for the Buccaneers, while Joseph Mhlongo scored for Lidoda Duvha
The Buccaneers were desperate for a victory having suffered their third successive defeat in all competitions when they lost 1-0 to a high-flying Bloemfontein Celtic side at the Free State Stadium over a week ago.
Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic decided to make two changes to the team that faced Phunya Sele Sele as Paseka Mako and Linda Mntambo returned to the Bucs starting line-up as the Soweto giants looked to snap their losing run.
Lidoda Duvha were keen to maintain their unbeaten start to the new campaign having drawn 2-2 with a struggling Chippa United side at the Siza Dukashe Stadium over a week ago.
Joel Masutha made only one change to the team that faced the Chilli Boys as goalkeeper Rotshidzwa Muleka made his return to the starting line-up with Lidoda Duvha looking to add to Bucs’ woes.
The Buccaneers dominated the game from the start and Vincent Pule was denied by Muleka from close range after finding himself in a one-on-one situation with the keeper.
Thamsanqa Gabuza, who had surprisingly started ahead of Justin Shonga despite having had a poor game against Celtic, was also guilty of missing a clear-cut chance from close range.
Pressure was piled on the Leopards defence by the Pirates attackers and Muleka had to produce a superb double save to deny Pule and Gabuza.
The Soweto giants’ pressure finally paid off just after the half-hour mark when Gabuza’s low cross was turned home by Thivhavhudzi Ndou, who scored an own-goal to make it 1-0 to Pirates.
The 31-year-old striker, who has a love-hate relationship with the Pirates supporters, then left the pitch during his celebrations and the visitors had to continue without the forward.
Lidoda Duvha tried to take advantage of their numerical superiority over the visitors with former Pirates striker Mwape Musonda working tirelessly upfront for the hosts in the opening stages of the encounter.
However, the Bucs defence which was marshalled by their long-serving defender Happy Jele stood firm at the back until the math referee blew the half-time whistle.
Pirates were leading 1-0 at the interval. The Bucs officials then revealed that Gabuza had left the pitch due to an injury which he sustained during his celebrations.
The former Lamontville Golden Arrows striker returned to the ground with his right thigh strapped after the restart and he sat on the Bucs bench.
However, Gabuza was dismissed by the match referee off after receiving two yellow cards. One was for taking off his shirt during his celebration and another for leaving the pitch.
The Buccaneers had to soldier on without the frontman and Micho pulled out attacking midfielder Linda Mntambo, and he introduced Zambian marksman Shonga.
The Serbian made changed his tactical approach as he deployed a 4-4-1 formation with Shonga playing as a lone striker and the vistoers played on the counterattack.
The approach proved fruitful as Pirates doubled their lead through Pule, who sent through on goal by Xola Mlambo and he fired past Muleka to make it 2-0 much to the delight of the away fans in the 65th minute.
The goal did not come as a surprise as the Buccaneers had scored 50% of their goals between the 60th minute and 75th minute of the game in the league this season.
Article continues below
However, Leopards responded with a goal as Joseph Mhlongo scored with a thunderous shot the edge of the box to make it 2-1 as the second half substitute handed the hosts a glimmer of hope.
Both teams launched attacks in search of a late goal, but it never came and Pirates emerged 2-1 winners over Leopards on the day.
The victory took the Buccaneers to third place on the league standings, while Lidoda Duvha remained sixth on the table.