BUCS, DOWNS SHARE THE SPOILS IN HEATED CLASH
PRETORIA- Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates could not be separated at Loftus Stadium in an encounter that was filled with off-field drama.
Jeremy Brockie had a great chance to grab the lead for Masandawana after just two minutes after being sent through on the right side of the box but he fired his shot wide.
Sundowns were forced into an early substitution in the 13th minute as Andile Jali succumbed to a hamstring injury and was replaced by Tiyani Mabunda.
Thembinkosi Lorch had a chance to break the deadlock for Milutin Sredojevic’s charges in the 21st minute with a strike on the right side of the box but Onyango got down well to make the save. The pace of the game was going down after the two sides took a water break towards the 25th minute in the scorching heat in Tshwane.
Soon after, there was a scuffle between the two benches 10 minutes before halftime after images showed a fan getting into the Bucs technical area and going for Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena, which ultimately led to both benches getting involved as tempers flared.
Once the game got underway, Justin Shonga almost broke the deadlock for Pirates two minutes before the break with a diagonal curling strike from a free-kick, but his effort sailed wide of the upright.
There was nine minutes added on following the touchline scuffle, but neither side could break the deadlock and went into the break all square.
Lorch had an opportunity to break the deadlock for the visitors five min- utes into the second stanza after going through on the right side of the box but he guided his low strike wide.
Phakamani Mahlambi almost got the breakthrough for the Brazilians in the 61st minutes barely a minute after coming on for Brockie, taking on two players on the left side of the box to go through on goal but his low strike at the near post was saved by Bucs goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.
Orlando Pirates defender Happy Jele in a heading duel with Sundowns’ Gaston Sirino at Loftus Stadium yesterday.