Maritzburg frustrate Pirates at home
- Maritzburg United and Orlando Pirates drew 0-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Harry Gwala Stadium yesterday.
As a result, the Team of Choice remain at the top of the league standings, while Bucs also remain second on the table.
The Team of Choice got off a to a lively start as they moved the ball around nicely in the Bucs half, while searching for an early goal in order to unsettle the visitors.
It should have been 1-0 to Maritzburg in the 17th minute when Siphesihle Ndlovu beat Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.
But veteran defender Happy Jele came to Pirates’ rescue as he recovered well to make a well-timed clearance.
The Team of Choice were dominating the match with former South Africa international Wayne Sandilands forced to make great saves.
The shot-stopper denied Bandile Shandu in the 26th minute, before saving Evans Rusike’s long range effort two minutes later.
Maritzburg keeper Richard Ofori was also called into action in the 40th minute after a good move by the Buccaneers.
The Ghana international produced a double save with Thamsanqa Gabuza looking on in disbelief and ultimately, the first-half ended goalless. Ntsikelelo Nyauza thought he had given Pirates the lead a few minutes after the restart, but his goal was disallowed as he was offside.
With Pirates doing most of the attacking after the restart, Maritzburg looked dangerous on the counter-attack.
Gabuza was booked in the 66th minute as the Bucs striker was frustrated by the Maritzburg defence which was marshalled by Bevan Fransman.
The Team of Choice continued to frustrate the Bucs attackers towards the end of the match and teeenge striker Lyle Foster was introduced by the visitors.
However, Maritzburg keeper Ofori was dominant in the air as he gathered Pirates’ long balls and crosses with time running out.
It was end-to-end in the dying minutes of the match, but neither side were able to score and the match ended in a goalless stalemate.