Bucs miss chance to open lead
Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates missed the chance to open up a four-point lead at the top of the Absa Premiership after being held to a goalless draw by Bidvest Wits at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.
In a match dominated by the Buccaneers, the standout players were the Clever Boys’ hard-working defenders and midfielders who ensured that the home team was unable to claim all three points and take a potentially decisive advantage at the head of the log.
The first half saw little in the way of goalmouth action as both sides struggled to find any kind of attacking rhythm. Other than a couple of half chances, there were no real attacking highlights to speak of.
Wits looked lively down the left through youngster Asive Langwe, who often timed his runs just right to get on the blindside of the Pirates central defenders but was usually let down by poor service from out wide.
As for Pirates, their wingers Tlou Segolela and Daine Klate looked their best route to goal, but the Clever Boys doubled up on them whenever they had the ball and generally did a great job in keeping them quiet.
The best opening of the half went the way of Tokelo Rantie in the 10th minute, but his effort on the turn was neither shot nor cross and didn’t trouble Energy Murambadoro in the Bidvest Wits goal.
The second half followed much the same pattern as the first: Pirates bossed possession but struggled to create chances. Even the introduction of substitutes Dikgang Mabalane, Rudolf Bester and Thulasizwe Mbuyane did little to trouble the Wits backline.
The Clever Boys almost stole the game at the death when Bhongo Jayiya squared a ball for Katlego Pule to shoot, but the youngster put his effort just wide of Moeneeb Josephs’ right-hand post.
Bucs countered with a chance of their own for Bester, but Phillips was able to clear his goal-bound with relative ease after Energy Murambadoro had come off his line somewhat rashly to try and beat the attacker to a long ball.