Soweto - Lennox Bacela saved a point for Orlando Pirates with a second-half goal as the Buccaneers settled for a 1-1 draw against Platinum Stars in their Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
"In the first half we played badly, I must say, but in the second half we played much better," Pirates coach Vladimir Vermezovic said after the match.
"Maybe our guys are afraid of mistakes or something because they played without confidence, but when they had to play and scored the goal, their confidence was up.
"I don't know what's going on but maybe they're waiting to finish off this season because it's been too long for them."
Siphelele Mthembu put the visitors in front shortly after the half-hour mark, netting a header from a well-constructed set-piece, with Stars dominating the opening period.
Five minutes later, Mogakolodi Ngele nearly stretched the lead for Dikwena but he fired his long-range effort high and wide.
Fighting back in the second half, Pirates came close on the hour mark but Siyabonga Sangweni's thunderous attempt was blocked by Luvolwethu Mpeta.
A minute later, however, the Buccaneers struck when substitute Bacela climbed high and got a shoulder to a loose ball to find the equaliser with his first touch of the game.
Thabo Matlaba had a chance to secure victory for Pirates in second-half injury time, but his shot was well saved by Stars goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane, who dived to his right to keep the ball out.
"We came here looking for three points and we got one," said Stars coach Allan Freese.
"We'll take the one and go home. Whether it's enough at the end of the day, I don't know, but the boys played well and showed heart."