Absa Premiership

Matsatsantsa dent Pirates' title ambitions

2018-04-11 22:14
Mpho Makola (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates lost ground on the Absa Premiership leaders after being held to a goalless draw by SuperSport United at the Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday evening.

As it happened: SuperSport United v Orlando Pirates

An entertaining first half saw Mpho Makola hit the woodwork twice for the Buccaneers, who created the better chances before the break, but the action tailed off after the restart and the two teams had to settle for a share of the spoils.

The hosts made a bright start and Teboho Mokoena looked to make early inroads with a shot from outside the area on the right that flew wide of the left post after just two minutes.

Pirates threatened for the first time when Justin Shonga whipped in a free-kick from the left that landed on the roof of the net on 13 minutes, while Aubrey Modiba went close at the other end moments later with a looping header that went just over the crossbar from Mokoena's cross on the right.

Micho's side began to get a foothold in the game and Luvuyo Memela curled a free-kick from the right straight into the arms of Ronwen Williams on 18 minutes, before Shonga wasted a glorious opportunity to put the visitors ahead in the 23rd minute.

Clayton Daniels made a hash of clearing Memela's low cross from the left, but the Zimbabwe international failed to capitalise on the mistake as he fired wide of the left post from eight yards out.

Shonga was presented with another good chance within seconds when he was played in through the middle, but his first-time shot from 22 yards out was comfortable for Williams.

The Bucs forward should also have done better on the half-hour mark after latching onto a poor pass inside the opposition area, but his effort drifted wide of the right post.

Makola was unfortunate to see his thumping strike from 22 yards out come back off the crossbar on 34 minutes after he was afforded space to shoot, and the midfielder hit the right post from just six yards out two minutes later after getting on the end of Thembinkosi Lorch's cut-back on the left.

Grant Kekana had a sniff at goal for the Tshwane outfit on 42 minutes when he steered a header over at the back post from a corner, in what was the final action of the half.

The second stanza started with promise as Memela looked to catch out Williams with a clipped shot from the edge of the box on 51 minutes, but the Matsatsantsa gloveman was alert to the danger to tip the ball over the bar.

Sadly there was little excitement at either end for the remainder of the match as Bucs had to make do with a point, which meant that Mamelodi Sundowns opened up a three-point gap at the top of the table.


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