Orlando Pirates’ poor form in the Absa Premiership continued after playing out to a goalless draw with Maritzburg United at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening, reports DYLAN APPOLIS.
The Buccaneers came into this encounter after being eliminated from the Telkom Knockout Cup by arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs following a 4-2 defeat on penalties at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Team of Choice managed to book their place in the next round of the knockout competition after beating Highlands Park 4-3 on penalties in their last game.
The last time these two sides met, Pirates came out on top claiming a narrow 1-0 victory at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
Pirates got off to a good start and nearly took the lead after two minutes when Gabadinho Mhango played a ball into the path of an unmarked Kabelo Dlamini, who could only fire his effort straight into the hands of Richard Ofori.
At the other end, Maritzburg had to wait until the half-hour mark for their first real chance at goal when Dan Morgan picked out Rushin de Reuck with a long throw, but De Reuck directed his header over the target from close range.
Vincent Pule nearly broke the deadlock with six minutes left to play in the half, but Ofori did well to deny the Pirates attacker.
Happy Jele kept the scoreline at 0-0 when he made two crucial tackles on the stroke of half time to deny Thabiso Kutumela and Bandile Shandu.
Pirates made an early change in the second half when Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga came on for Mabasa and Dlamini, while Maritzburg brought on Pogiso Sanoka for De Reuck a minute later.
The Buccaneers were reduced to 10 men on the hour mark when Jele was shown his marching orders with his second yellow card.
The visitors made their second change of the game eight minutes later when Judas Moseamedi replaced Jeremy Brockie in attack.
Mhango had a chance to break the deadlock in the 74th minute after creating space for himself in the box, but fired his effort straight into the hands of Ofori.
Maritzburg were also reduced to 10 in the 77th minute when Kwanda Mngonyama picked up his second yellow card of the game.
Shonga nearly handed Pirates the lead in the last 10 minutes but blazed his effort against the frame of the goal.
Neither side were able to score the winning goal in the closing stages for the game to end goalless at the Orlando Stadium.
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