PSL News 7.3.2017 09:50 pm

Bucs show fight, but still desperate for a win

Onismor Bhasera and Thembinkosi Lorch during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Onismor Bhasera and Thembinkosi Lorch during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Orlando Pirates showed good character to fight back for a 1-1 draw with SuperSport United at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night, but remain without a win since November last year.

Although the home team enjoyed more of the first half possession, it was SuperSport who had the better chances in an opening stanza which failed to see either team really firing on all cylinders.

Having taken the lead through Thabo Mnyamane early in the second half, Matsatsantsa had chances to increase their lead before Thembinkosi Lorch leveled the game in the 76th minute to secure a fourth consecutive 1-1 draw for Pirates, who are now without a win in their last 12 games in all competitions.

Pirates had made a positive start to the match and could have gone ahead in as early as the second minute when Thamsanqa Gabuza sprung the off-side trap, but with Reyaad Pieterse having moved well off his line to try and intervene, the Bucs marksman’s shot was hurried and went straight at the visiting goalkeeper.

Although the Soweto outfit continued to look purposeful in possession they failed to create clear-cut openings on goal and it was Matsatsantsa who had the next opportunity, in the 19th minute – but having done well to make space for a shot 20-yards out, Mnyamane’s parting shot veered inches wide of the post.

Mpho Makola went close with a 29th minute free kick, while at the other end, Kingston Nkhatha did well to turn and volley in the box but watched as his effort flew marginally wide of the far post.

Gabuza had a great opportunity five minutes after the restart when Thabo Matlaba laid a square ball into his path, but from eight yards out he blasted the shot over goal.

The deadlock was broken in the 55th minute, when the outstanding Mnyamane ran into the box, controlled Jeremy Brockie’s cross without breaking stride and smashed in a half-volley past Brighton Mhlongo at the near post.

Mnyamane nearly doubled the Tshwane team’s lead just seven minutes later, but saw his well-struck shot from the edge of the box missing the top corner by inches after deflecting off a defender.

Bucs again escaped going further behind when Brockie put the ball in the net but was called back for offside; replays suggesting the goal should have stood. The New Zealand international was again unlucky when he had a strong claim for a penalty appeal turned down after a clumsy challenge by Ayanda Gcaba.

It should then have been 1-1 in the 73rd minute when Matlaba teed up Lorch, but from 10-yards out and with the goal at his mercy, he lost all composure and fired into the stands.

There was, however, no denying Bucs their equaliser when Lorch pounced from close range to make amends just two minutes later by squeezing a shot into goal in a crowded box.

Tendai Ndoro had the perfect opportunity to break his recent goal drought and help Kjell Jonevret win his first match as Orlando Pirates head coach, but the Zimbabwean blasted a 93rd minute header over the bar from just a few metres out as victory continued to elude the Soweto club.

For SuperSport, who had already beaten Pirates 6-1 and 1-0 in the league and Telkom Knockout competitions this season, the draw sees them staying in third spot on the standings after Bidvest Wits drew 0-0 away to Chippa United.

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