Pirates, Spurs share spoils

2011-07-19 22:28

Nelspruit - Orlando Pirates played to a 1-1 draw with a much improved Tottenham Hotspur side in the second Vodacom Challenge match at Mbombela Stadium on Tuesday night.

The English visitors - with coach Harry Redknapp on the bench for the first time on their South African tour - had been lacklustre in their 1-0 loss to Kaizer Chiefs in Polokwane on Saturday, in the opening match of the pre-season tournament.

They took the lead in the 17th minute with a classy free-kick from midfielder Rafael van der Vaart on the edge of the box, easily beating goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa in the Pirates goal.

The Buccaneers, with Brazilian Julio Leal in charge for the first time, went on a late surge to equalise six minutes before the interval through fullback Happy Jele, who intercepted Spurs defender Danny Rose to blast in an acute goal from the edge of the box.

Spurs, in what might have been a message to Luka Modric - who is the current talk of a likely high profile move to big spending Chelsea, opted to make the Croatian playmaker captain on the day while regular skipper Michael Dawson started on the bench.

Modric's place was notable when he didn't feature on the weekend and was crisp in the 60 minutes he managed on the pitch.

It was Spurs who started off as if they would score an avalanche of goals against the hosts, with Gareth Bale proving to be a menace on the left flank.

First, Bale skinned Jele and Rooi Mahamutsa in the sixth minute but saw his final shot at an awkward angle go across the face of goal.

Moments later Bale crossed inside and narrowly failed to find striker Jermain Defoe's outstretched foot before going on to force a save from Meyiwa who tipped his free-kick over the post.

Pirates' first meaningful shot of the half came from midfielder Isaac Chansa, who saw his shot sail wide of Brad Friedel's goal.

Lone striker Bongani Ndulula then fashioned a glancing header in the 42nd minute that went narrowly wide of goal to mark their resurgence.

The home team introduced the wingers Mark Mayambela, Sameegh Doutie and defender Siyabonga Sangweni for the start of the second-half in place of Daine Klate, Chansa and Mahamutsam - a move that nearly paid off as they dominated the final 45 minutes.

The lively Mayambela fashioned a shot that went narrowly wide of goal before turning provider for midfielder Oupa Manyisa - who was cut off by a well-timed Dawson tackle in the box as he was about to test Friedel.

Spurs did manage a crafty counter-attack against the run of play with substitute midfielder Niko Kranjcar's shot being dealt with by an agile Meyiwa in the final quarter of the match.

The next match of the round-robin fixtures sees Pirates play Chiefs at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Thursday evening, where the winner will play Spurs in the final on Saturday.


  • RacingShark - 2011-07-19 23:41

    Pirates played very well tonight. Im impressed. They must try to get there shots more on target especially those long range shots. If they cant get that right then rather not take such shots and get closer to the box

      veebot - 2011-07-20 05:44

      too many touches especially at the edge of the opposition box...quite right, some distant shooting might turn their chances around.

  • hardloop - 2011-07-20 01:04

    Spurs have not found this little holiday jaunt as easy as they expected i'm sure. Ha!

  • delcelton - 2011-07-20 07:45

    Soccer is boring is draws draws draws.

      Albo - 2011-07-20 08:53

      Imagine in rugby if you can only score a try under the poles.

      Pallazo - 2011-07-20 09:32

      @Albo. Imagine in soccer if you could use both hands and legs to get a goal!!! Plus use multiple points for a single goal.

  • Ephraim Bogopa - 2011-07-20 08:49

    This Vodacom cup is boring, how can a team play 2 times and get 1 loose & draw, then go straight to the final? I mean chiefs have 3 points, and Spurs obtained 1 point but it is going to play in the final. They must run it like before, when they bring 2 teams and the winners go straight to final.

      Pallazo - 2011-07-20 09:37

      That has been my critisism for a while but I hear the SA soccer dons, sorry, bosses are negotiating to have a second team from the EPL. It cost the sponsors a fortune but it sure will be more interesting!

      Ak - 2011-07-20 12:52

      But would be kind of unfair for 2 EPL teams to be in a final here now wouldnt it!! Unless they maybe bring another team from Spain or somethin

      RacingShark - 2011-07-20 18:45

      While I agree that in the sense of a tournament it doesnt make sense. Its sponsorship basically. The way I view it is to look at the first two games as pure friendlies and then Pirates vs Chiefs as semi to face Tottenham. On another we as SA should try to host the Club world cup. That way we will have the PSL winners automatically enter and can compete against the continental champions such as Barca and Santos (of Brazil) etc.

  • Lerato - 2011-07-20 10:29

    I believe if Pirates didn't do their showboating in the field they could have won the match we need to beat this so called best clubs in the world and take that attitude to the national team so that we can develop in soccer. I must say since the world cup the attitude of the players has changed for the better and i believe we can be the best...!!

      Albo - 2011-07-20 14:41

      Slow down there Lerato. Let`s become the best in Africa first. Baby steps :)

      RacingShark - 2011-07-20 18:46

      Yes PSL teams should start looking beyond the PSL and aim for the CAF champions league and then the club world cup

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