Orlando Pirates closed the gap with Stellenbosch at the top of the DStv Premiership to just a point with their 2-0 victory over Chippa United on Wednesday.

The Buccaneers had overturned the Chilli Boys in their Nedbank Cup semi-final 3-1 at the weekend, and were again at their dominant best in an impressive display of attacking football at the Orlando Stadium.

Tshegofatso Mabasa bagged both goals for his side, and opened the scoring with a simple tap-in on 36 minutes before slotting home a 42nd minute penalty.

He won the man of the match for his performance, as he moved top of the leading goalscorer charts with 15 league goals for the season.

The result saw third-placed Bucs move onto 49 points from 27 games, while Stellenbosch, who drew 0-0 with AmaZulu, remained in second place on 50 points.

Chippa ended the evening down in 11th place with 32 points from their 27 games.

Both sides took the first ten minutes to settle, but it was Bucs who began to control of the game as they started to dominate possession.

After probing their opponents for the next ten minutes, there was a notable increase in tempo and the chances started to arrive for the home team.

Thabiso Monyane was first to threaten when a loose ball broke to him on the edge of the Chippa box, but his first touch took him away from goal under pressure from Azola Ntsabo.

Monyane then really should have scored when put through on goal by a piercing through-ball from Thalente Mbatha, with 17 minutes on the clock, but he somehow managed to blast his shot wide of the right-hand upright.

Pirates then struggled to clear a 21st minute set-piece at the other end, and the ball fell for Baraka Majogoro but he couldn’t keep his composure and fired high and wide.

Patrick Maswanganyi was played in by a super touch from Kabelo Dlamini, just before the half-hour mark as Pirates started to up the tempo, but his goal-bound shot was deflected out for a corner.

But wave after wave of attack kept Chippa pegged back, and the opening goal was a simple finish from close range by Mabasa as Bucs showed their quality with 37 minutes on the clock.

Maswanganji picked up a pass out of the Chippa defence and turned on his heels before releasing Monyane on the right flank to drive into the box and cross for Mabasa to tap home, unmarked.

Chippa’s problems were compounded on 41 minutes when Mabasa dispatched a penalty for his second goal of the match, although replays suggested the ball may have hit the back of Majogoro and not his outstretched hand.

Elmo Kambindu, meanwhile had a good opportunity to pull a goal back from a brilliant inswinging free-kick from Brooklyn Poggenpoel, with 45 minutes of the match played, but he got under the ball and headed wide of the mark.

Pirates started the second half with clear intent to add to their two first-half goals but were largely kept at bay for the opening ten minutes of the stanza despite pegging Chippa back in their own half.

The lively Relebohile Mofokeng was just offsides following a quick give and go with Mabasa, while Mabatha fired into the hands of Chippa Stopper Stanley Nwabali when teed up for a shot.

Chippa substitute Ronaldo Maarman, meanwhile, won a corner for his side after a rare foray forward and deflected shot, with 60 minutes on the clock, that led to a spell of pressure from Chippa, that Bucs struggled to deal with.

Sipho Chaine punched clear a 63rd minute Maarman corner, before getting both hands to a header on goal from Justice Chabalala.

Dlamini made Nwabali stretch low to his left with a good dipping shot on 70 minutes before a double change for Bucs as Thabiso Sesane and Dlamini came off for Lesedi Kapinga and Olisah Ndah.

Chaine made a brilliant intervention for Bucs when he got a strong hand to a searching low cross from the right from Maarman with Chippa substitute Menzi Ndwandwe looking to pounce.

Maarman fired an 82nd minute shot into the side-netting of Chaine’s goal after a well-worked corner, with Chippa seeing more of the ball late on.

Pirates were struggling to hold onto the ball with time ticking away, but never really looked conceding as they ultimately claimed a vital win and all three points in their battle to secure Champions League football for next season.