Bucs Held at Home by Spurs

Orlando Pirates were restricted to a single point on their return to Orlando Stadium, where they drew 1-1 against Cape Town Spurs in their DStv Premiership game on Wednesday night.

Having dropped back to fifth place in the standings, the Buccaneers remain unmoved after a frustrating outing in what was their first home league game against Spurs since 2017.

Looking to bag their second three-point haul on the trot following success on the road over the weekend, the home side began with a lively approach and were immediately in control of proceedings as they set up camp inside the Spurs half.

Right-back Thabiso Monyane provided the game’s first shot at goal just five minutes in when he forced Spurs goalkeeper Neil Boshoff into a nervy save, with the shot-stopper palming the ball against the upright. The 23-year-old followed this up with another attempt just seconds later, pushing his effort wide of the target this time around.

Shots continued to fly in towards the Urban Warriors goal, as striker Tshegofatso Mabasa fired over the crossbar from close range in the eighth minute after getting on the end of a clever pass from captain Innocent Maela.

Spurs had an opportunity spurned just two minutes later after winning a free kick in front of the Pirates goal, which was hit well over the crossbar by Luvuyo Phewa.

It only took another two minutes for the deadlock to be broken, and the goal came via a move started deep inside the Bucs half when Thalente Mbatha sent an excellent long ball into the path of Relebohile Mofokeng, who darted in towards the box from the flank before slotting in at the bottom corner.

The hosts did not take their foot off the pedal after edging ahead and had a chance to double their lead through Makhehleni Makhaula in the 23rd minute when the midfielder turned over possession right in front of the opposition goal before misfiring with his shot at goal.

They maintained control throughout the first period, but the second goal continued to remain elusive amid a determined defensive effort from the visitors.

The second half presented another opportunity for the Soweto Giants to pull away from the Capetonians, who were kept in the game by Boshoff as he pulled off a save to keep out a headed flick from Mabasa before Tapelo Xoki’s follow-up shot failed to penetrate the sea of red and white shirts inside the box.

The Spurs keeper was again alert to the danger moments later when he tipped Mbatha’s ambitious chip from the halfway line over the crossbar.

Mbatha had another chance at goal in the 56th minute, latching onto a loose ball before miscuing his shot, while a similar result greeted Spurs at the other end just after the hour mark when Butsaka went for goal from the edge of the box.

It took until the 76th minute for the visitors to restore parity as they equalised through a well-taken shot by an unmarked Gadiel Kamagi, who placed his shot well beyond the outstretched Sipho Chaine.

The Buccaneers set about finding their second as the clock wound down but were denied clear chances at goal throughout the game’s dying moments.

They managed to spark something up following a corner deep in injury time when Maela’s header was blocked by Boshoff, who also kept out Lesedi Kapinga’s low shot from close range.

That underlined a frustrating evening for the hosts, who claimed a single point to take their tally for the season to 30.

Pirates XI: Chaine, Xoki, Sibisi (Hotto 67’), Monyane, Maela, Makhaula (Timm 85’), Mbatha, Kimvuidi (Kapinga 46’), Mofokeng, Maswanganyi (Dlamini 85’), Mabasa (Lepasa 67’).

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