Bernard Morrison’s first-half strike was enough to hand Orlando Pirates a 1-0 win over Ajax Cape Town at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night.
The opening stages of the encounter proved to be an evenly contested affair with both sides seeing a bit of the ball in Soweto.
However, the Buccaneers went ahead after nine minutes as Morrison volleyed home from close range, after Ajax were caught napping at the back.
The hosts were enjoying a good amount of the possession as the game went on, while Morrison was proving to be a real nightmare for Erwin Isaacs down the left flank.
Ajax, meanwhile, were sloppy in possession of the ball which led to a lack of clear-cut chances in the final third.
That proved to be the trend for the rest of the half, as Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands enjoyed a quiet opening 45 minutes.
Pirates had the ball in the back of the net five minutes into the second half, but Thamsanqa Gabuza was flagged offside and his strike was ruled out.
The tempo of the encounter simmered down, which prompted Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic to introduce Thembinkosi Lorch for Morrison on the hour mark.
Stanley Menzo responded with a double change by introducing Prince Nxumalo and Bantu Mzwakali after 65 minutes.
Pirates should have doubled their lead in the 75th minute but Musa Nyatama fired wide of the mark from 12 yards out.
Sandilands came to Pirates’ rescue in the 89th minute as he produced a fine save to keep out Tashreeq Morris’s header and ensure the Sea Robbers came away with the spoils to move level with Maritzburg United at the summit on seven points apiece from three matches.
Pirates: Sandilands, Jele, Nyauza, Maela, Matlaba, Dube, Nyatama, Makola, Qalinge, Morrison, Gabuza.
Ajax: Petersen, Isaacs, Nhlapo, Booysen, Lebusa, Malepe, Mdabuka, Margeman, Mosadi, Makua, Morris.