Deon Hotto's first-half goal proved the difference as Orlando Pirates returned to winning ways with a 1-0 triumph over Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.
The match started at a high tempo but possession changed hands several times in the opening exchanges as both teams gave the ball away cheaply.
The first chance of note eventually arrived in the 17th minute as Thabang Monare forced Maritzburg keeper Bongani Mpandle into making a save after unleashing a speculative shot from 35 yards out.
Monare again tried his luck from range five minutes later but that effort came to nothing as his shot drifted well wide of the right-hand post.
Pirates continued to apply the pressure and again went close to breaking the deadlock through Vincent Pule and Azola Tshobeni.
And a sustained period of pressure eventually took its toll on the Maritzburg defence as the Buccaneers went on to claim the lead in the 40th minute following a swift counter-attack. Bongani Sam bombed down the left flank before sending in a pinpoint cross towards the back post, where Deon Hotto was well placed to prod the ball into the bottom-right corner.
Sam very nearly went from provider to goalscorer as the first half drew to a close but he was unable to hit the target with a long-range strike.
It was more of the same after the break as Pirates created the lion's share of goalscoring chances, with the Team of Choice struggling to impose themselves on proceedings.
Thembinkosi Lorch saw his goalbound effort saved by Mpandle on 63 minutes while Tshobeni fired high and wide to the left from outside the box a couple of minutes later.
Later efforts from Lorch and Vincent Pule failed to find the target as Pirates went in search of a second goal in the closing stages of the contest while at the opposite end of the pitch, Travis Graham fired over the bar in a rare chance for the hosts.
Celtic had two last chances to snatch a draw as the match drew to a close but Bucs keeper Richard Ofori was alert to the danger, producing crucial saves to deny both Sibusiso Hlubi and Keagan Buchanan in injury time.
- TEAMtalk media