Cape Town - Orlando Pirates moved six points clear of Mamelodi Sundowns and Wits after defeating Free State Stars 2-1 in Saturday's Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium.
Pirates started with real intensity as they pinned Stars into their own half in the opening exchanges. With that said, Relebogile Mokhuoane had the first attempt on target though his strike was well saved by Wayne Sandilands.
While the Sea Robbers were running the show in terms of possession, it was again Stars who tested Sandilands with a long range effort.
However, Pirates came close to the opener as Luvuyo Memela played a neat one-two with Thembinkosi Lorch, before he was denied by a great saving tackle by Sifiso Mbhele in the 39th minute.
Just before the break, Mthokozisi Dube whipped in a great cross though Nyiko Mobbie was on hand to deny Ben Motshwari.
After the interval, the goals finally arrived as a penalty was committed by former Bucs defender Rooi Mahamutsa following a late challenge on Luvuyo Memela.
Musa Nyatama stepped up expertly to convert beyond Samkelo Mbambo. In the 55th minute the second arrived as Justin Shonga headed home after good work by Xola Mlambo.
In the 70th minute substitute Vincent Pule came close after good work from Memela. However, his strike went inches wide.
Stars came back in force in the closing stages though Harris Tchilimbou headed just wide. In the closing stages, Eleazar Rodgers headed in to bring Ea Lla Koto back into the contest.
At the death, Mahamutsa came close to a leveler but it was not to be as Pirates went six points clear at the top of the Premiership standings.