Orlando Pirates started their DStv Premiership campaign under Jose Riveiro with a 1-0 win over Swallows FC on Saturday afternoon.
New boys Tapelo Xoki, Nkosinathi Sibisi and Bienvenu Eva Nga started for Pirates, as Swallows gave a debut to former Pirates man Kwanda Mngonyama. New assistant coach Musa Nyatama in the Swallows hotseat as Dylan Kerr waits for his work permit.
Pirates needed just ten minutes to open the scoring as Eva Nga dropped a yard of space wide of the area and drilled home a low pass from Kabelo Dlamini to open his account for the club.
Sibisi was close to a debut strike too just before the final quarter of the first half with a volley which goalkeeper Thakasani Mbanjwa was able to keep out.
Swallows targeted a bit of momentum following an underwhelming period with Waseem Isaacs, Lindokuhle Mtshali, Strydom Wambi and Tshediso Patjie in particular but to no effect.
There were no substitutions from the Buccaneers at the resumption, but Swallows threw on Tlakusani Mthethwa for new signing Gregory Damons.
Pirates continued to find joy up top and could’ve gone further ahead through Deon Hotto’s snap shot in the area and another teasing effort wide of the box from Nga that Mbanjwa parried.
The Dube Birds fancied their chances minutes from the break and almost pulled level from a powerful first-time shot in the area by Mtshali off a second-ball scenario.
However, the opportunities still came through for Pirates midway in the second stanza as Nga scuffed a loose ball from a quick counter-attack wide of target.
Swallows looked to up momentum in the closing period and had a penalty call waved away where Sibisi thwarted Patjie in the box.
As full-time dawned, the Buccaneers slowed down the tempo of play and collected a narrow victory in the start to their campaign.
Orlando Pirates: Ofori, Xoki, Sibisi, Maela, Hotto, Monare, Mosele, Nonyane, Dlamini, Lorch, Eva Nga
Subs: Mpontshane, Ndah, Mako, Shandu, Lepasa, Tlolane, Makaringe, Motshwari, Timm
Swallows: Mbanjwa, Damons, Sasman, Sait, Khupe, Mngonyama, Mtshali, Wambi, Patjie, Isaacs
Subs: Ngobeni, Sibiya, Allan, Lukhubeni, Musonda, Mbhele, Amoojee, Mthethwa, Mtshali.