Collins Mbesuma scored in the first half for the Buccaneers, but Lehlohonolo Majoro’s eighth League goal of the season meant Chiefs got the draw – and maintain their three-point lead in the standings.
Tensions showed in the early exchanges, with Lucky Lekgwathi lucky to escape a booking in the very first minute for a studs-up challenge on Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
The game was scrappy for the first quarter as both sides lost possession and failed to make any sort of inroads – but that changed on 21 minutes.
Again Chiefs lost possession in midfield and this time Andile Jali made them pay, playing in Mbesuma who shot across Khune and into the bottom corner after holding off Tefu Mashamaite.
It was almost 2-0 minutes later when Sifiso Myeni’s free-kick from the touchline beat everyone – and sailed just past the upright.
Pirates thought they had a second when Mbesuma netted after what looked like a backpass by Katsande, but the assistant referee ruled it offside - much to Roger de Sa's frustration.
Chiefs thought they had equalised on the half-hour mark when Majoro reacted quickest to a corner. His volley was fierce, but Daine Klate stood his ground and cleared off the goalline.
Amakhosi were piling on the pressure and Siphiwe Tshabalala came close again, but Senzo Meyiwa produced a world-class save to tip his free-kick over the crossbar.
Bernard Parker then saw his deflected header from a corner-kick sail across the face of goal, but it was Pirates who came closest to scoring again – Klate in acres of space in the area, but Khune brilliantly tipping his shot around the corner.
Whatever Stuart Baxter’s halftime talk was, it seemed to work.
With George Lebese replacing Josta Dladla, Chiefs raced out of the blocks, with Erick Mathoho stinging Meyiwa’s palms with a fierce drive, before Parker missed a free header which really should have been buried.
However, the goal did eventually come on 58 minutes, and it was a beauty. Some excellent build-up play involving Tshabalala saw Lebese feed Majoro, who beat Siyabonga Sangweni before slotting under Meyiwa’s body.
Chiefs were doing all the running, but on 67 minutes a slip-up almost allowed Pirates to regain the lead as Khune spilled a regulation catch, but he got back to save Sangweni’s lob under the bar.
Two minutes later Gaxa went for the spectacular, running all of 50 yards before connecting a first-time volley, but the effort went over.
Oupa Manyisa had a goalbound header deflected for a corner with 10 minutes to go, before substitute Benni McCarthy’s audacious bicycle-kick went inches over.
Chiefs almost snatched the points in injury-time when Tshabalala broke into the area, but his curling effort just missed the boot of Kingston Nkhatha – and the far-post.