Mar­itzburg frus­trate Pi­rates at home

Observer on Saturday - - Sport - Back­page TXT

- 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.

MAR­ITZBURG

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