Match report: Orlando Pirates held by AmaZulu
Posted: 28 October 2012 Time: 17:20
Defending champions Orlando Pirates had to make do with a point after drawing 0-0 with bottom-of-the-log AmaZulu on Sunday.
Usuthu needed Philani Zikalala to make a few excellent saves, as Bucs generally dominated play and created the better scoring chances, but the Durban side deserved the point they picked up.
The first half saw little in the way of goalmouth action, with neither Zikalala nor Moeneeb Josephs called upon to make any kind of notable save.
Josephs had one nervy moment when a poor back-pass from Rooi Mahamutsa nearly allowed Ayanda Dlamini in, while Zikalala also had a bit of a walkabout from his posts, after which he needed to make a desperate challenge to make sure he was not caught out.
The defences definitely had the best of the first 45 minutes, with neither attack able to get out of second gear.
Pirates opted for a change at the start of the second half, sending on Tlou Segolela for the ineffectual Mpho Makola, and the quick winger spiced up their attack.
However, AmaZulu very nearly took the lead on 49 minutes when a Marc van Heerden free kick-hit caught Josephs by surprise and struck him on the head – luckily for the keeper the ball deflected over the top for a corner.
On 63 minutes Segolela aimed a curling shot for the top corner of the net, but Zikakala pulled off an excellent save to tip the ball over the top of the bar. Three minutes later Collins Mbesuma threatened with a quick turn and shot, but Van Heerden made a brave block.
With just over 10 minutes to play, Zikalala pulled off another fine save to keep out a well hit long-range effort from Oupa Manyisa that looked destined to ripple the back of the net as soon as it left the midfielder's right boot.
Pirates' best chance to win the game arrived in the 88th minute when Zikalala came off his line for a cross but did n0t claim it, with the ball falling kindly for Sifiso Myeni, but the winger spooned his effort over the crossbar.
AmaZulu very nearly stole the game against the run of play in injury time, when another free-kick from Van Heerden drew an excellent diving save from Josephs.