Absa Premiership

Pirates held at home by Dikwena

2017-10-18 22:23
Thabo Matlaba (Gallo)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates were denied a first win in three matches as Platinum Stars clinched a vital Premiership point with a 1-1 draw at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday.

Stars made a bright start in Nasrec and enjoyed plenty of possession in the opposition half early on, but failed to create any clear-cut chances before the break.

Pirates took a while to get going, with Thamsanqa Gabuza squandering their first and best opportunity in the opening half when he fired over from 13 yards out on 14 minutes, after Matlaba's initial shot had deflected into his path.

Innocent Maela threatened again for the hosts 15 minutes later with a shot that drifted wide of the right post after good inter-passing around the 18-yard area.

Visiting keeper Dino Visser was called into action for the first time on 37 minutes as he got down well to deny Thabo Matlaba, who broke into the box from Gabuza's pass on the right.

The contest remained goalless at the break, but sparked to life at the start of the second half with Matlaba opening the scoring.

Thabiso Kutumela made an immediate impact after coming off the bench at half-time as he played Matlaba into space on the right and the winger cut inside on his left foot before finishing clinically past Visser from 16 yards out.

But the Buccaneers' lead lasted less than two minutes as Bongi Ntuli hit back for Dikwena, with the striker turning on a pass from Vuyo Mere and stabbing the ball past Wayne Sandilands from inside the box on the left.

The hosts almost restored their lead on 52 minutes as Thabo Qalinge steered Matlaba's clipped cross goalward, but Visser parried his header over the crossbar.

Mpho Makola went even closer eight minutes later from a free-kick that came back off the bar, but that was their last chance to claim all three points as the visitors held on for a share of the spoils.

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