Eva Nga gave the Orlando Pirates fans a good start after his solitary goal earned the Buccaneers a 1-0 victory over Soweto rivals Swales FC in the DStv Premier League at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
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New coach Jose Rivera gave new players Nga, Thapela Shoki and Nkasinati Sibisi their first official starts for Pirates.
Ng’s goal came early in the match as Pirates started the game well, while the visitors felt the urge.
The Buccaneers looked very lively from the start and the team possessed the ball for the most part.
A good move in the opening 10 minutes of the match saw Kabela Dlamini pick out new striker Nga and the former Chippa United striker made no mistake as he slotted home to send the Orlando crowd into raptures.
Swallow made some efforts to develop the Bucs defense from the flanks, but their efforts were to no avail.
The game went into halftime with the Buccaneers in the driver’s seat.
In the second half, the Birds had some promising attacks and some shots from distance, but things went wrong.
In the 49th minute, Tshedisa Patie shot from outside the penalty area, but the new vice-captain of Pirates, Richard Ofori, made a great save.
The Bucs also had their moments with chances falling to Nga to extend the home side’s lead but he was unable to add to the tally much to the dismay of the Buccaneers fans.
Swallows came out stronger in the later stages of the tie when Pentjie Zulu shot wide, while Pathier forced Ofori into another fine save late in the match as Swallows continued to look for an equaliser.
However, it was the Pirates who ended up entering the new season with three points on aggregate.