Pirates held by United
Posted: 31 January 2009 Time: 22:25
Orlando Pirates failed to take their chances as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bay United in an Absa Premiership encounter at the Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday night.
The Buccaneers dominated the entire 90 minutes but could only muster one goal in a game fluttered with chances. A slip at the back cost them a goal and hence two points as they played to a 1-1 draw.
In a tough tackling, fast paced game, the Sea Robbers controlled the midfield and hence dictated the terms of play. United struggled to get hold of the ball and when they did they gave possession straight back to the Buccaneers allowing them to counter-attack at speed exploiting the space behind the slowed paced Umlilo defence.
Despite their dominance, Pirates struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities in front of goal for the first 20 minutes. The Sea Robbers, however, were sparked into life when Joseph Kamwendo let fly with his right boot from 32 yards. His shot sailed easily through the night air just skimming the right hand up-right, much to the disappointment of the crowd.
The Buccaneers only had to wait five minutes more before the talented Siphelele Mthembu headed them in front from only six yards. Mthembu snuck in front of a sleeping Bay United defence to clinically head home a Dikgang Mabalane cross, 1-0.
Even though Pirates dominated the first 45, they still went into the half time break on level terms thanks to a miscommunication between the Buccaneers defence and Senzo Meyiwa in the Pirates goal.
The only work Meyiwa had to do in the entire first half was to pick the ball out of the back of his own net in the 36th minute. A long ball from the United defence saw Meyiwa charge out for the ball and miscommunicate with his defence, resulting in him spilling the ball at the feet of Jean Njoh, who made no mistake in slotting the ball into an empty net, 1-1.
The second half seemed a mere replica of the first with Pirates in full control of the ship but they continuously failed to dock the ship. Their new signing Katlego Mashego should have scored in the 65th minute when he put his snap shot just wide of the left hand upright from six yards out.
Gareth Ncaca came on for Siyabulela Songwiqi and he made all the difference for United as he posed somewhat of a threat up font for them. Umlilo's best effort in the second half came courteous of a Ncaca free-kick in the 78th minute; which he curled round the wall and forced Meyiwa in to his first official save for the night as he punched the ball away from danger.
Besides from that single threat Pirates continued to create odd chances in front of the United goal but their strikers poor finishing let them down on the night as they game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Coach Ruud Krol will be extremely disappointed with his troops as they failed to pick up an easy three points and extend their lead over their old Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs and closer to a place at the top of the log.