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Cape Town Stadium
27/04/2012 20:00

Pirates held in Cape Town

Posted: 27 April 2012 Time: 21:49

Orlando Pirates failed to put daylight between them and the chasing pack as they drew 1-1 with Ajax at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday night.

George Maluleka netted an early goal for the home side, but The Buccaneers were level just three minutes later through Lucky Lekgwathi.

Bucs had the first chance of the game when Benni McCarthy cleverly slipped in Rudolf Bester, but his shot was too close to Sander Westerveld.

The game was open and fast-paced, with Ajax also spending quite a bit of time around the Pirates box.

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But it was only with their first real chance that the Cape side scored. The goal came after 22 minutes and was scored by Maluleka, who took advantage of a slip-up by Oupa Manyisa to rifle a low drive past Moeneeb Josephs.

The Sea Robbers’ reply was swift, however – just three minutes later Lekgwathi sent an angled drive past Westerveld from close range after an enterprising build-up involving Manyisa and Bester.

The first half, which also saw a concussed Bheki Nzunga replaced on 15 minutes by Benson Mhlongo, remained open and entertaining, with both sides having additional efforts on goal; Maluleka coming closest when he drove an angled effort inches wide.

McCarthy had a great chance to put Bucs in front in the 63rd minute when he shaped up for a header on goal following Tokelo Rantie’s excellent cross, but the veteran sent his effort wide.

The second half remained highly entertaining, with both sides attacking and play going from end to end.

With 13 minutes to go, Maluleka’s shot looked set to bend inside the upright, but Rooi Mahamutsa got in a crucial intervention as he put his head on the line.

McCarthy was replaced by Ndumiso Mabena late on, but before departing the field came close to nipping in for a goal, only to be denied by Westerveld’s sharp reflexes.

With four minutes to go Brent Carelse looked set to hit the winner, but Manyisa this time was the Buccaneer to get his body in the way.

That was it as far as goalmouth action was concerned, Bucs having no choice but to leave the Mother City with only a point.

Anthony McLennan

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