Absa Premiership

Pirates, AmaTuks share spoils

2015-04-24 22:24
Khethokwakhe Masuku and Thabo Mnyamane (Gallo Images)

Soweto - There was no separating Orlando Pirates and University of Pretoria as they played to a goalless draw in their Absa Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Friday night.

The first half was a closely contested battle with both sides creating a number of good chances to break the deadlock. However, the opening 45 minutes would end in stalemate, thanks to a combination of poor finishing and the woodwork keeping out two efforts from Wits.

AmaTuks started the match on the front foot and very nearly claimed the led just four minutes in. Thabo Mnyamane's free-kick evaded the Pirates defence and fell kindly to Atusaye Nyondo, who saw his volleyed effort from close range hit the crossbar.

Pirates hit back with a chance of their own in the 11th minute, but Khethokwakhe Masuku squandered the chance as he fired a powerful effort high and wide.

The hosts continued to create chances as Lennox Bacela tested Tuks goalkeeper Washington Arubi with a tame long-range effort, before Masuku volleyed just wide of the mark on 23 minutes.

Tuks were again denied by the woodwork in the 36th minute, as Thabo Mnyamane saw his cross-cum-shot come back off the bar before being cleared by the defence.

That was the last real chance of note, however, as the two teams went into the half-time break on level pegging.

Buoyed by an encouraging first half, Sammy Troughton's men again started strongly after the interval, twice testing Brighton Mhlongo in the Pirates goal in the space of two minutes. However, efforts from Mnyamane and Denver Mukamba failed to cause the Bafana Bafana international any real problems.

Mukamba eventually made way for Geoffrey Massa in the 65th minute and the Ugandan striker took just three minutes to lodge his first shot on goal, which sailed wide of the right-hand upright.

At the opposite end of the pitch, substitute Kermit Erasmus, who came on for the ineffective Bacela, saw his 70th-minute effort kept out by Arubi.

Both teams redoubled their efforts in the closing 20 minutes, but a lack of cutting edge in front of goal meant the goalkeepers weren't forced into action.

Pirates had two good chances to snatch a late win, though, as substitute Menzi Masuku and Thabo Rakhale both fired wide in the final few minutes.

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