Pirates let it slip again
Uninspiring draw in wet weather at home will put Tinkler under pressure to make technical changes
Though the heavy downpour brought some relief to most parts of the country yesterday, there was no such luck for under-fire Eric Tinkler as his Orlando Pirates side dropped two points at home. Gaining only one point would not have been enough for a beleaguered coach who is surely skating on thin ice.
With Pirates placed at the wrong end of the log, this result will reignite calls for technical changes at the club, although there was little Tinkler could have done under the greasy conditions that made play difficult.
It was clear from the first whistle that this game was headed towards a draw.
Besides the two goals – interestingly scored by each side’s former player – there was no shortage of entertainment on the field.
Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane kept the Buccaneers on the edge of their seats with his comedy of errors between the sticks.
He was fortunate to get away with only a free kick instead of a penalty when he appeared to have brought down Solomon Mathe inside the box.
Mpontshane, a former Stars player, was at it again in the second half when his poor clearance fell in the path of Robert Ng’ambi, but the Malawian striker could not take full advantage of the howler.
On the other side, the introduction of Masibusane Zongo by the visitors also brought some life to the otherwise dull affair. The winger was in his element as he entertained the crowd with his skill, but he could not help his side claim the three points.
After the opening half-hour, the game only came to life after Issa Sarr put Pirates in the lead in the 32nd minute with a cool finish. The goal came against the run of play, as Stars had been threatening earlier.
Stars got their equaliser early in the second half from a set piece when former Pirates striker Ndumiso Mabena headed home from Tintswalo Tshabalala’s free kick.
This was all the two clubs could give on the day and no side could claim to have deserved the three points.
Stars had to withstand the pressure in the final 15 minutes after their skipper, Vuyo Mere, got his marching orders after receiving his second yellow for
ALL SQUARE Sifiso Myeni of Orlando Pirates is challenged by Siyabonga Zulu of Platinum Stars during the Absa Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg yesterday