9 October, 2022
Orlando Pirateshad to settle for a solitary point at Orlando Stadium after being held to a goalless draw by a 10-man Richards Bay on Saturday night.
In the first-ever meeting between the two sides, the visitors completed the game a man down following the sending off of fullback Siyanda Msani, as the home side sought to bounce back from their midweek defeat.
Most of the early chances created by the Buccaneers, who had a shot at goal as early as the second minute through Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo, who directed the ball wide after Deon Hotto’s attempted cross into the box was blocked onto his path.
Monnapule Saleng and Zakhele Lepasa both had some chances inside the opening 10 minutes, but neither could affect the scoreboard, and the home side’s first real shot at target came via an unlikely source in Olisa Ndah, whose header from a corner was comfortably dealt with by goalkeeper Salim Magoola.
With things still deadlocked midway through the first half, the visitors spotted an opportunity to edge themselves ahead as they found some go-forward ball, with Somila Ntsundwana finding a way behind the defence before sending his shot crashing into the side-netting.
The Buccaneers responded by pushing ahead, and were almost in on goal as Monnapule Saleng, who had been a livewire early on, was able to draw a save from Magoola.
They continued to be the more dominant of the two sides, but without finding the decisive touch, and it was on the stroke of halftime that the complexion of the game changed when Msani’s challenge on Olisa Ndah saw the KwaZulu-Natal outfit reduced to 10 men for the rest of the encounter.
With a numerical advantage, the Soweto Giants sought to push ahead and could have done so two minutes after the break had Hotto found his bearings with a stinging shot from range.
Ndah could have been an unlikely hero on the hour mark, when he stretched his limbs to meet a ball delivered into the box by Ndlondlo, but his effort was kept out by Magoola.
Chances continued to fall to the Buccaneers, who thought they had found the breakthrough in the 74th minute through Bandile Shandu, whose celebrations were cut short by the offside flag, before Nkosinathi Sibisi leapt high from a set-piece just to direct his header wide.
Second-half substitute Terrence Dzvukamanja had an opportunity to steal the win late in the game, but a frustrating evening was sealed moments later as the final whistle sounded with neither side managing to break the deadlock.
Pirates XI: Mpontshane, Ndah (Xoki 67’), Sibisi, Maela (Mako 77’), Mosele (Makgaka 58’), Timm, Shandu, Hotto, Ndlondlo, Saleng (Eva Nga 77’), Lepasa (Dzvukamanja 67’).
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