Zero for High­lands, Bucs

CityPress - - Sport -

Or­lando Pi­rates bat­tled to a goal­less draw against High­lands Park in a drab Absa Pre­mier­ship en­counter at Makhu­long Sta­dium in Tem­bisa last night.

Played in front of a full crown on a some­what chilly evening, the match swung from end to end, with both yearn­ing for goals for the en­tire 90 min­utes, but nei­ther could find the back of the net.

Pi­rates were on the of­fen­sive in the first stanza, in which they at­tacked High­lands Park’s de­fence, but their ef­forts were thwarted.

Oupa Many­isa curled an in­swing­ing cor­ner from the left in the 17th minute, but High­lands Park’s keeper Ta­puwa Kap­ini caught the ball with ease.

From there on, it was a ding-dong bat­tle. High­lands Park’s Lin­dokuhle Mbatha curled in an in­swing­ing cor­ner from out on the left, but his ef­fort could not inspire any con­fi­dence as Pi­rates were on the alert and hell­bent on not con­ced­ing a goal.

The re­sult en­abled the Bucs to re­main in the ninth spot on the log with 27 points, while High­lands Park are still rooted at the bot­tom with a mea­gre 20 points – star­ing rel­e­ga­tion in the eye.

. In an ear­lier match, Kaizer Chiefs bat­tled to a 1-0 win over Chippa United in a PSL clash at Mbombela Sta­dium.

The Chilli Boys came into the tie hop­ing to claim a sec­ond win over Chiefs this sea­son, but the loss sees them sit­ting at num­ber 12 on the log stand­ings, with 24 points from as many matches.

A late strike from sub­sti­tute Ge­orge Lebese handed Steve Kom­phela’s men the de­served three points as they avenged the 3-1 de­feat they suf­fered in the first round.

The open­ing five min­utes saw them start­ing the con­test on a high as they kept the vis­i­tors un­der pres­sure.

Siphiwe Tshabalala showed his qual­ity on the left flank, beat­ing his marker be­fore putting a bril­liant cross for Ramahlwe Mphahlele, whose header missed the tar­get in the 15th minute with only goal­keeper Daniel Akpeyi to beat.

In the 31st minute, Ge­orge Maluleka tried to beat Akpeyi from long range with a well-struck ef­fort, but it went inches wide of the right post.

Five min­utes later, the Chilli Boys fought hard to pen­e­trate the hosts and skip­per Tham­sanqa Sang­weni failed to test keeper Itume­leng Khune as his ef­fort went over the bar.

Af­ter great foot­ball from both sides and on the stroke of half time, Gus­tavo Páez also came close, re­ceiv­ing a cross from Ed­more Chi­ram­badare, yet the Venezue­lan could not con­trol his ac­ro­batic shot as it went wide.

De­spite the at­tempts to break the dead­lock, it was 0-0 at half time.

Ten min­utes into the sec­ond stanza, Mphahlele made a good run into Chippa’s half and laid the ball for Tshabalala in the box, but the mid­fielder’s left-footed at­tempt sailed wide.

With 17 min­utes to go, sub­sti­tute Lebese sold his op­po­nent a dummy and picked up Páez , but the for­ward could not find his way past Akpeyi, who made a save.

Chiefs showed a sense of ur­gency and, with five min­utes to go, Lebese con­verted in the box with a pow­er­ful left-footed shot fol­low­ing a clever pass from William Twala on the left flank.

De­spite Dan Male­sela’s men’s re­silience in try­ing to find an equaliser, Amakhosi con­trolled the pro­ceed­ings as they marched on with the full three points.

The vic­tory el­e­vates Chiefs to num­ber two on the log with 45 from 24 games, sep­a­rated by goal dif­fer­ence from lead­ers Cape Town City.

. In another match, Golden Ar­rows and Ajax Cape Town drew 11 at Chatsworth Sta­dium in Dur­ban.

Ar­rows’ goal was scored by Nkany­iso Mng­wengwe in the 14th minute, while Prince Nxumalo equalised in the 77th minute.

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