Orlando Pirates endured another frustrating night as they were held to a 1-1 draw in their DStv Premiership game against Polokwane City at Orlando Stadium on Friday night.
For the second successive match on their return to league action, the Buccaneers were forced to settle for a point, climbing up a single spot to 12th place in the standings. They were dominant in the contest from the onset, spending most of the opening period inside the visitors’ half of the field.
It was however the men in orange who got the closest to finding an early breakthrough 10 minutes after the first whistle when Hlayisi Chauke’s shot from point-blank range was kept out by Bucs keeper Melusi Buthelezi, who displayed excellent reflexes in pulling off a stunning save. Defender Olisa Ndah had an opportunity of his own as he headed towards the goal from a corner kick moments later, but the defence was able to direct his effort out of play.
This was followed by an attempt from Sephelo Baloni, who placed his curling shot from just outside the box wide of the target. The deadlock was broken six minutes from the break when Thembinkosi Lorch sparked a move down the middle before popping up on the right flank to deliver an excellent cutback for Patrick Maswanganyi, who only needed a single touch to finish from close range.
The Bucs midfielder could have completed his brace on the stroke of halftime when his shot from just outside the box was blocked by Sapunga. However, Pirates were made to pay for the missed chances in the 72nd minute through a spectacular left-footed finish by Given Mashikinya whose shot evaded the outstretched Buthelezi, drawing City level.
In trying to restore their lead, the Soweto Giants set up camp inside their opponents’ territory without much luck in terms of opportunities created.