Orlando Pirates’ search for their first win in the DStv Premiership continues after playing out to a goalless draw with Marumo Gallants FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday.
The Soweto giants named Vincent Pule and Nkanyiso Zungu to replace Tebogo Tlolane and the suspended Ntsikelelo Nyauza in the targeting lineup, while Kabelo Dlamini got his first start and Bandile Shandu returned to the starting XI.
The Buccaneers got off to a bright start and had their first opportunity the fourth minute when Goodman Mosele played a long ball into the path of Gabadinho Mhango, who then unleashed a shot from a tight angle but saw his strike sail wide of goal.
Kabelo Dlamini had a chance to break the deadlock in the 27th minute when he tried his luck from distance, but the Pirates winger blazed his effort wide of target.
There was a temporary stop in play five minutes after the half-hour mark due to the floodlights malfunctioning with the scoreline still goalless.
Pirates had one last chance to take the lead before the break when Deon Hotto floated a set piece into the box, but failed to pick out any teammates as the ball was cleared by the Marumo defence.
The Buccaneers opted to bring on fresh legs in the second half in Terrence Dzvukamanja replacing Mhango.
Pirates had the chance to take the lead but Zungu fired his effort from distance just wide of goal after some great interplay by the visitors.
Gallants nearly broke the deadlock four minutes after the hour mark but Ngema could only blast his volley against the upright.
The visitors decided to make their second substitution of the game a minute later as Bandile Shandu was replaced by Tebogo Tlolane.
Gallants continued to try to penetrate the Pirates defence after 74 minutes of play, as they threatened down the left flank before attempting a dangerous cross into the box but Mosele was alert to deal with it.
Pirates responded and came close to making it 1-0 at the other end three minutes later when Dlamini drove into the box to find Hotto, who failed to put the ball past Arubi between the sticks for Gallants.
The visitors then decided to bring on fresh legs in the 78th minute as Tshegofatso Mabasa and Siphesihle Ndlovu came on for Pule and Zungu before Dlamini was taken off for Collins Makgaka in the 82nd minute.
Pirates had a chance to snatch the win with five minutes remaining after Dzvukamanja set up Ndlovu, who fired his shot straight at Gallants goalkeeper Arubi before Hotto delivered a free kick into the box moments later, but the ball was just out of reach for Mosele.
Both sides pressed forward in the closing stages in search of the winning goal, but were forced to settle for a point each after playing out to a goalless draw.
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