Bucs and Aces draw
Posted: 9 December 2009 Time: 21:34
Mpumalanga Black Aces fought back from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw in their Absa Premiership clash with Orlando Pirates at the Puma Rugby Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Pirates opened the scoring in the 13th minute through Bennett Chenene, but Aces earned the draw five minutes from time when experienced striker Mpho Maleka rose unchallenged in the box to beat Moeneeb Josephs.
A few hours before the game started, stadium management worked tirelessly to drain the waterlogged pitch. The game kicked off with puddles on the pitch, making it difficult for the players to express themselves.
Inside ten minutes, Pirates goalkeeper Josephs was forced to produce two saves in quick succession as Aces made their intentions clear.
However, it was Pirates who opened the scoring when an unmarked Chenene tapped home inside the box after connecting a defence-splitting pass from defender Happy Jele, who benefited from a ball that was misjudged by Felix Musasa on a watery patch.
Barely a minute after half-time, Katlego Mashego had his effort blocked by advancing Aces keeper Oscar Ramogoadi and the bouncing ball fell on the path of unmarked Thulasizwe Mbuyane, whose clever chip over the defence was headed away to safety by Godfrey Nobula on the line.
Four minutes before the half hour mark, Ruud Krol introduced Teko Modise for injured Gert Schalkwyk, but the Bafana Bafana international looked rusty after a long time on the sidelines as a result of injury.
Minutes after Modise's introduction, Chenene could have registered his brace but his header bounced off the ground, allowing Ramogoadi to parry for safety.
For a while, it looked like Pirates would walk away with the three points, but their defence was caught napping when Maleka headed home to earn AmaZayoni an important home point.