Orlando Pirates moved up to second place in the Absa Premiership following their 0-0 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns at the Orlando Stadium on Monday evening, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
Milutin Sredojevic’s men came into this encounter after playing out to a 1-1 against Bloemfontein Celtic in their previous league match.
Meanwhile, Pitso Mosimane’s side secured a 2-1 victory over Maritzburg United in their last league encounter, courtesy of goals from Emiliani Tade and Lebohang Maboe.
The Brazilians got off to a great start and nearly broke the deadlock in the first minute after Thapelo Morena latched on to a Tebogo Langerman cross before unleashing a strike which hit off the outside post.
Pirates thought they had the ball in the back of the net five minutes later, but Thembinkosi Lorch’s goal was disallowed as the referee adjudged that the ball had gone out of play.
Hlompho Kekana nearly opened the scoring in the 16th minute after unleashing a powerful strike from distance, but Wayne Sandilands guided his trademark shot over the crossbar.
Musa Nyatama should have handed Pirates the lead 10 minutes before the break, but the attacker steered his header just wide of the far post.
Sandilands came to his side’s rescue minutes before half-time when he made a fingertip save to keep out Tade’s free kick from the edge of the box.
However, neither side could find the opening goal as the game went into the half-time break.
Sundowns came out the better side in the second half, as Tade had the first chance of the half, but his shot was blocked by Alfred Ndengane.
At the other end, Pirates caught Sundowns on the break, but Langerman made a crucial tackle on Justin Shonga after Augustine Mulenga’s cross found his fellow Zambian in the area.
Mulenga should have put his side ahead in the 61st minute after linking up with Innocent Maela on the left before striking a shot at goal, but the Pirates striker sliced his attempt wide of the target.
Pirates had a great chance to take the lead in the 76th minute when Lorch picked out Mulenga’s in the box, but Denis Onyango did well to smother his shot.
Sredojevic opted to freshen his attack by making a double substitution when Thamsanqa Gabuza and Kudakwashe Mahachi came on to replace Luvuyo Memela and Justin Shonga.
Both sides pressed forward in the closing stages of the game as they went in search of the winning goal, but neither side were able to find the net, forced to share the spoils at the Orlando Stadium.
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