Defending champions Orlando Pirates equaled points on the log with leaders Kaizer Chiefs following their 2-1 win over a 10-man Maritzburg United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday night.
Oupa Manyisa and Andile Jali scored for the Buccaneers while Cuthbert Malajila found consolation for United.
It was the hosts who came close to opening the scoring in the 14th minute when Michael Morton played an intelligent through ball but Cuthbert Malajila did not read the pass well allowing Siyabonga Sangweni to recover.
With action concentrated in the middle of the park, both teams resorted to long range shots and in the 24th minute Mandaza let fly from about 30 yards but his effort flew over Senzo Meyiwa’s goals.
The goal finally came in the 32nd minute, Daine Klate worked his way past
Rheece Evans and delivered a brilliant cross to pick up an unmarked Manyisa who made no mistake as he fired home to give Pirates the lead.
Two minutes later, Collins Mbesuma had a chance to doubling the lead as he unleashed pile driver from about 20 yards but this time Walters was equal to the task, gangly collecting the ball.
United responded by launching their own attack in the 36th minute, Delron Buckley broke loose on the left-wing and brought in an inviting cross inside the Pirates box which Meyiwa punched away to clear the danger.
In the 49th minute Maritzburg were reduced to 10-man after Ruben Cloete was shown a straight red card by referee Daniel Bennett for a studs up
challenge on Ntshumayelo.
Pirates made use of the extra man on the pitch when they launched a blistering counter attack, Sifiso Myeni and Mbesuma playing a quick one-two. The Zambian striker showed vision when his inch-perfect cross found Jali who was lurking inside the box and the diminutive midfielder beat Walters all systems out with a brilliant header in the 56th minute.
Myeni could haved capped a fine day on the pitch with a goal of his on in 76 th minute but he was denied by Walters who was at the right place at the right time.
The hosts pulled one back in the 79th minute, Malajila scoring past Meyiwa after some good work by David Booysen and the experienced Derlon Buckley to set up the Zimbabwean striker.
The win sees Pirates go top of the Q-2 log table with 17 points from 7
games and should Platinum Stars who are on 15 points with a game in hand
drop points against SuperSport United then the Bucs will walk away with the prize for the second quarter of the season.