Pirates held by Stars
Posted: 15 December 2009 Time: 21:39
A workman-like performance from Free State Stars saw them holding an unimpressive Orlando Pirates to a 0-0 draw at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night.
It was a game of few chances as neither side looked sharp in attack and both sets of defences were fairly comfortable for the entire game.
There was little goal-mouth action early on as neither side managed to create chances in attack, indeed it appeared as if the heavy fixture list had caught up with both sets of players as the game was rather lacklustre in the opening half.
While Pirates enjoyed more of the ball possession, the visiting team looked comfortable in defence as they adequately dealt with any attacks.
It took until the 29th minute for the first clear cut chance to arrive as Siphelele Mthembu did well to create an opening for his striker partner, Katlego Mashego, who reflexive toe-poke went the wrong side of the upright with only Stars goal keeper Kennedy Mweene to bear.
Ea Lla Koto had done little in attack in the opening 45 minutes, but came close to opening the scoring just before the break when a long throw-in lead to a goalmouth scramble that ended in Manti Moholo pulling the trigger from close range, but he was unable to beat Bucs keeper Moeneeb Josephs.
Pirates looked a bit more inspired after the half time break and were close to scoring in the 47th minute when Happy Jele arrived at the back post just too late to take advantage of Bennett Chenene’s probing cross.
Stars also enjoyed their moments in attack in the opening stages of the second half, but the game soon deteriorated into a similar pattern to that of the first as fouls and yellow cards to both sides occurred on a regular basis.
It was only in the 78th minute that the next chance arrived – after some good work by Andile Jali, the ball was shifted to Phenyo Mongalo inside the box, but the Botswana-born player’s effort was dismal.
Pirates did apply some pressure in the final minutes of the game, but poor execution and a lack of ideas around the opposition penalty area meant that Stars were comfortably able to hold on for a valuable away point.
The result sends Bucs up to third spot on the Absa Premiership log, but the result will still be viewed as two points lost by Ruud Krol’s men.