Premium Journalist
2 minute read
22 Jan 2019
10:10 pm

Pule to the rescue as Pirates draw with Baroka


Orlando Pirates made hard work of their league match with Baroka FC before salvaging a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night. 

Matome Mabeba of Baroka FC and Mthokozisi Dube of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Baroka FC at Orlando Stadium on January 22, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Despite spending much of the night camped out in their own half, an early goal from by Matome Mabeba had looked enough to seal a victory for the visiting side, before Vincent Pule snatched an 84th-minute equaliser the hosts.

Pirates dominated first-half proceedings, both in terms of possession and chances created, yet found themselves a goal down at the break as Baroka scored with one of their few opportunities.

Bucs should have been in front with only a couple of minutes played as Paseko Mako set up Justin Shonga, but the Zambian fired wide from close range.

Instead, it was the visitors who drew first blood, thanks to a superbly taken free kick by Matome Mabeba, who beautifully curled the ball into the top corner from 30-yards out.

Despite the setback, the Sea Robbers continued to boss the game, but when it came to the final third, they were found wanting as the likes of Augustine Mulenga, Happy Jele, Ben Motshwari and Linda Mntambo all failed to test Baroka keeper Elvis Chipezeze with their shots at goal.

The status quo was resumed after half time as the hosts enjoyed the majority of the ball possession and territorial advantage, and Shonga was just a couple of inches away from finding the top corner with a snapshot from 18-yards out in the 56th minute.

Pirates continued to push and probe, but they looked rather toothless upfront as Chipezeze remained largely untested as the game moved into the final 10 minutes.

It was looking increasingly like the Buccaneers were to go home empty handed, but Pule had other ideas as he popped up in the 84th minute to get on the end of a cross from Mulenga and nod a looping header into the top corner.

The Soweto giants pushed hard for a winner, and it nearly came midway through 14 minutes of added time as Thamsanqa Gabuza rose well to get on the end of a header, but it went just wide of the upright with what was the last clear-cut chance of the night.

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