Orlando Pirates were forced to share the spoils with TS Galaxy after playing out to a goalless draw at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
Josef Zinnbauer made only one change to his side that beat Maritzburg United in their last match as Ben Motshwari was recalled in place of Vincent Pule, while Azola Tshobeni made his second start for the Soweto giants.
The Buccaneers were nearly on the front foot in the early exchanges of the game after Fortune Makaringe breezed past a couple of Galaxy players before unleashing an effort from range, but the ball unfortunately just missed the target.
Pirates did manage to break the deadlock in the 10th minute through Bongani Sam, who bagged his first goal for the club, with a well-taken strike to make it 1-0.
Galaxy almost responded immediately but Pirates keeper Richard Ofori made a great save to deny Mxolisi Macuphu the equalising goal.
Makaringe should have doubled his side’s the lead in the 18th minute when he showcased his nifty footwork in an one-on-one situation with Marlon Heugh, but Bevan Fransman did well to deny the attacker a scoring opportunity.
Galaxy eventually found the equaliser two minutes later when debutant Masilake Phohlongo eventually headed the ball home from close range after latching on to an inviting cross from Luckyboy Mokoena.
Heugh was then called into action on the half-hour mark when he made a comfortable save to deny Deon Hotto, who did well to cut inside before getting his shot away.
The visitors threatened the Buccaneers goal from a corner in the 37th minute, but no Galaxy player could turn the ball into the back of the net.
Pirates had the last chance of the first half when Ben Motshwari tried to pick out Thulani Hlatshwayo from a set piece, but slightly overhit his cross over the defender’s head as the game went into the break locked at 0-0.
Zinnbauer made his first substitution at the restart as Tshobeni was replaced by Pule.
Pirates had the ball in the back of the net in the 62nd minute but was disallowed as the whistle was already blown, with two Galaxy players on the ground needing attention.
Hotto had a chance to put his side ahead two minutes later but blazed his shot over the crossbar after meeting a piercing delivery from Sam.
At the other end, Mlungisi Mbunjana unleashed a strike from distance forcing Ofori to make a stretched-out save as his shot sailed wide of goal, before Hotto’s cross-cum-shot was kept out by the upright moments later.
The Sea Robbers then made another substitution in the 70th minute with Mundele coming on to replace Motshwari as they went in search of the winning goal.
Thembinkosi Lorch came close to making it 2-1 eight minutes later when he produced a shot from distance, which whizzed past the far post.
Heugh was called into action in the last five minutes when he came off his line to cut out Makaringe’s inviting cross into the box.
Both sides pressed forward in search of the winning goal in the closing stages but were forced to settle for a point each.
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