Pirates Salvage A Point Against Baroka

Another late strike from second-half substitute Tshegofatso Mabasa salvaged a point for Orlando Pirates, who had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Baroka at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

With one point separating the two sides in the league standings, the hosts were in search of a third straight win against a side looking to bounce back from defeat.

The Buccaneers enjoyed most of the possession early on, but without doing much in terms of threatening the visitors’ goal.

The first bit of real excitement came in the 30th minute, as Zakhele Lepasa gathered the ball inside the 18-area, but pulled his shot just wide.

The best chance of the half fell to the 23-year-old, whose glancing header from a pin-point cross was tipped over the bar by Baroka goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke.

The second half began the worst way possible for the Soweto Giants, who conceded two minutes after the restart. This was after an error from Richard Ofori, who could not hold on to the ball from a set-piece situation, with Ananias Gebhardt pouncing on the loose ball to put Baroka ahead.

It could have been 2-0 just moments later, but Kgodiso Monama’s shot from range went just inches wide of the target.

In response, the Buccaneers forged ahead, and it was Linda Mntambo who went the closest to providing an equaliser, as his snap-shot from inside the box was deflected wide of goal.

However, most of Pirates’ playing was in defence during the early stages of the second half, with Baroka launching attack after attack.

The Buccaneers would regain control of the contest towards the 70-minute mark, and Lepasa was once again a threat to the visitors’ goal, beating Masuluke in the near post only to pull his shot wide.

Just as it looked as if Pirates’ best efforts at finding the equaliser were failing, enter Mabasa – the hero against Supersport United – who netted late once more after being played in by Deon Hotto in the second minute of injury time.

The goal inspired the hosts to look for the winner, but time was against them as it remained 1-1 at Orlando Stadium.

Starting XI: Ofori (GK), Hlatshwayo (C), Nyauza, Jooste, Mako, Zungu (78′ Makgaka), Ndlovu, Mntambo (61′ Mabasa), Makaringe, Dzvukamanja (61′ Hotto), Lepasa (78′ Mhango)  

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