Frustration for Pirates Against Polokwane

Orlando Pirates endured another frustrating night as they were held to a 1-1 draw in their DStv Premiership game against Polokwane City at Orlando Stadium on Friday night.

For the second successive match on their return to league action, the Buccaneers were forced to settle for a point, climbing up a single spot to 12th place in the standings.

They were dominant in the contest from the onset, spending most of the opening period inside the visitors’ half of the field.

It was however the men in orange who got the closest to finding an early breakthrough 10 minutes after the first whistle when Hlayisi Chauke’s shot from point-blank range was kept out by Bucs keeper Melusi Buthelezi, who displayed excellent reflexes in pulling off a stunning save.

Defender Olisa Ndah had an opportunity of his own as he headed towards goal from a corner kick moments later, but the defence was able to direct his effort out of play. This was followed by an attempt from Sephelo Baloni, who placed his curling shot from just outside the box wide of the target.

Some enterprising play from the hosts led to a shot on target from Karim Kimvuidi, who drew a save from City shot-stopper Manuel Sapunga on the half-hour mark before the Limpopo outfit hit back with a quick counter which ended as Ndumiso Mabena directed his shot inches wide.

The deadlock was broken six minutes from the break when Thembinkosi Lorch sparked a move down the middle before popping up on the right flank to deliver an excellent cutback for Patrick Maswanganyi, who only needed a single touch to finish from close range.

The Bucs midfielder could have completed his brace on the stroke of halftime when his shot from just outside the box was blocked by Sapunga.

Pirates were first to conjure up an opportunity in the first half just eight minutes after the break, with Sapunga forced into a save by Thabiso Monyane.

There were more chances inside the visitors’ half, where Evidence Makgopa and Deon Hotto both directed their efforts wide.

They were made to pay for the missed chances in the 72nd minute through a spectacular left-footed finish by Given Mashikinya whose shot evaded the outstretched Buthelezi, drawing City level.

In trying to restore their lead, the Soweto Giants set up camp inside their opponents’ territory without much luck in terms of opportunities created.

It was City who nearly had the final say as Mabena went for a speculative shot from a long way out, only to miss the target.

There was no further action after that, with the Buccaneers forced to take a single point from the contest.

Pirates XI: Buthelezi, Xoki, Ndah, Monyane (Shandu 81’), Hotto, Baloni (Monare 74’), Timm, Maswanganyi, Kimvuidi (Saleng 62’), Lorch (Erasmus 74’), Makgopa (Lepasa 82’).


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