Cape Town - Maritzburg
United claimed a valuable point in their fight for Absa Premiership survival
when they held Orlando Pirates 0-0 at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Team of Choice created the better opportunities in the match, outplaying the
Buccaneers on their home ground, but they were forced to settle for just a
point. However, that reward could yet prove to be decisive in the relegation
were the first to threaten a goal, with Zimbabwean striker Evans Rusike sending
a well-struck drive just wide of the near post from a tight angle as early as
the seventh minute.
only notable attacking highlight in the first half arrived just past the half
hour mark, with Thamsanqa Gabuza presented with a great sight of goal only to
be quickly closed down and ultimately denied by goalkeeper Virgil Vries.
suffered a blow late in the half when they were forced to withdraw key
playmaker Kurt Lentjies, who succumbed to a knee injury he carried into the
match, though the speedy Sheldon Van Wyk was a more than useful replacement.
first chance of the second half went the way of Pirates, with Gabuza’s clever
movement into the channel between his marker and the right-back gifting him
another shooting chance, but he put his left-footed effort over the target in
the 55th minute.
then on it was the Team of Choice who took control of the game and created
several good chances. On 68 minutes Van Wyk fired a shot at goal only to be
denied by a fine save from Brighton Mhlongo, and shortly thereafter defender
Brian Onyango headed over the crossbar from close range.
the best chance of the half fell to Rusike in the 85th minute and
when he opened his body and looked to curl the ball into the top corner, it
seemed destined to break the deadlock. Sadly for the visitors, the ball drifted
just wide of the upright, leaving the game to finish 0-0.