Orlando Pirates scored two late goals to salvage a 2-2 draw with FC Platinum in their Group B Caf Champions League clash at the Orlando Stadium on Friday night.
Pirates were looking for nothing but the three points in the buildup to keep the pressure on the two teams above them in the group, Horoya and Esperance.
The away side got off to a good start and won a penalty with 19 minutes gone when Marcelo was judged to have handled in the box. Pirates keeper Sandilands, however, produced a good save from Never Tigere’s shot to keep the scores level.
Tigere bounced back quickly, though, to fire his side into the lead with a deflected shot in the 27th minute. His shot bounced off Alfred Ndengane before beating Sandilands, 0-1.
Just 10 minutes later, the Zimbabweans doubled their lead when Rainsome Pavari had an easy tap-in at the front post. Perfect Chikwende left Ndengane in his wake during the buildup.
Pirates could not pull one back before the break and trailed 2-0 at halftime.
After a slow start to the second stanza, Milutin Sredojevic’s men eventually began to threaten as Justin Shonga had a well-taken free kick saved ten minutes into the half.
Shonga had another gilt-edged chance to take the lead with 72 minutes gone, but his free header was saved by Mhari following a cross from Memela.
The Buccaneers eventually got back into the game in the 81st minute as Thembinkosi Lorch smashed his shot past Mhari at his near post to hand his side some hope.
Then, three minutes before the end of the 90, Augustine Mulenga grabbed the vital equaliser as he stroked his shot into the top corner following a well-worked corner kick.
Pirates continued to throw men forward in search of a winner, but it was not too be for the Soweto Giants, who now remain third in Group B with six points, a point behind second-placed Horoya, while the already eliminated Platinum remain rock-bottom with two points.
Sredojevic’s men will need to win away against Horoya in their final group game to secure progression to the knockouts.
Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
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