Pi­rates let it slip again

Unin­spir­ing draw in wet weather at home will put Tin­kler un­der pres­sure to make tech­ni­cal changes

CityPress - - Sport - TIM­O­THY MOLOBI at Or­lando Sta­dium tim­o­thy@city­press.co.za

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

PHOTO: SAMUEL SHIV­AMBU / BACK­PAGEPIX

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

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