Bucs Held to Stalemate by Las Palmas

Orlando Pirates were held to a goalless draw by Spanish outfit Las Palmas at Banus Football Center in their final game of their pre-season tour.

Having both their previous Club Friendlies in Spain, the Buccaneers came up against the newly-promoted La Liga side, who took to the field for the first time in the off-season.

It was the Spaniards who were first to manage a shot on goal nine minutes after kick-off when Oscar Pinchi’s close-range effort was brilliantly kept out by Sipho Chaine, who made an excellent reflex save diving to his left to keep things scoreless.

The Buccaneers had to wait until the 20-minute mark to get their first clear-cut opportunity, and it fell to Patrick Maswanganyi, whose first-time shot was blocked by keeper Alvaro Valles.

Chances were few and far between in the middle of the first period, with Chaine’s goal only tested again after the half-hour mark when he had to make an easy save to deny the experienced Jonathan Viera.

Pirates were unable to pierce the attacking third for the remainder of the first half, bar for a half chance created by Monnapule Saleng in the 36th minute, when his ball from the left flank landed too far from onrushing teammates and was collected by the defence.

With several changes made at halftime, the Soweto Giants had more opportunities to pull ahead in the second period, with Zakhele Lepasa operating in acres of space on the left.

The striker created the first real chance after the restart when he cut inside to fire a low shot at goal, pulling his effort wide.

He was again in the thick of the action in the 59th minute when he managed to poke the ball into the back of the net, only to be hauled back by the offside flag.

Pirates enjoyed a period of dominance just after the hour-mark, pinning their opponents deep inside their own half.

Lepasa and Relebohile Ratomo both had shots at goal, with the former’s attempt tipped over the bar for a corner, before the teenager unleashed a superb curling effort from distance, which was parried out of play by replacement keeper Alvaro Killane.

They continued to trouble the Spaniards, with striker Bienvenu Eva Nga getting close to making a breakthrough late in the contest when his flick from close range was held by the young shot stopper.

Ratomo had another go from range in the game’s dying moments, and was unable to find the target. 

The game eventually finished deadlocked at 0-0, with the Buccaneers concluding their Spanish tour unbeaten with two wins in three matches.

Pirates XI: Chaine (Ofori 46’), Xoki (Mthethwa 46’), Sibisi (Maela 46’), Monyane (Shandu 46’), Mako (Hotto 46’), Monare (Mosele 46’), Timm (Ndlondlo 60’), Saleng (Ratomo 60’), Maswanganyi (Lepasa 46’), Dlamini (Marou 46’), Erasmus (Eva Nga 60’). 


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