Orlando Pirates came from a goal down to register a 3-1 victory over Ecuadorian outfit Independiente del Valle in a Club Friendly at Marbella Football Centre in Malaga, Spain on Saturday.
It was the Buccaneers’ second outing in Spain in the current pre-season, with one victory already in the bag. The first period began with opportunities at both ends, as the Buccaneers attacked from wide, with Paseka Mako’s ball into the box cut out by the keeper.
This was before goalkeeper Richard Ofori was called upon to make a similar intervention as the South Americans delivered a threatening ball of their own into the Bucs penalty area. The Ghanaian shot-stopper’s defences were breached midway through the first period, with Independiente drawing first blood.
Pirates responded as they pushed forward, with Monnapule Saleng getting close through a set piece before Miguel Timm also fired a shot at goal, which sailed just over the crossbar.That was the closest the Soweto Giants got to drawing level in the first half, as they headed into the tunnel still trailing.
Wholesale changes were made at the break, with an entirely new XI taking to the field for the second period. It took Pirates just four minutes after the restart to level matters, and it was through some magic from Deon Hotto, whose brilliant ball through the middle found striker Souaibou Marou, who rounded the keeper before firing into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
They continued to dominate, as Bienvenu Eva Nga sent the ball crashing onto the upright in the 58th minute, with new signing Patrick Maswanganyi pouncing on the rebound to put the Buccaneers ahead.
There was an even shorter wait for the third goal, which came from the boot of midfielder Fortune Makaringe who capitalised from poor communication at the back, turning over possession before making it 3-1 just after the hour-mark.Despite enjoying a comfortable lead, the Buccaneers kept the foot on the pedal, and were almost rewarded inside the final 20 minutes when Marou’s shot from close range was parried away by the keeper.
The Ecuadorians had their moments inside the Bucs half, where they were met by a solid defensive effort, which did not allow them any real chances at goal. The night belonged to the Soweto Giants in the end, as they delivered a clinical performance to clinch another victory in Spain.