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Moses Mabhida Stadium
23/01/2014 19:30

AmaZulu, Pirates share the spoils

Posted: 23 January 2014 Time: 18:55

Orlando Pirates dominated proceedings, but could only emerge with a 1-1 draw against AmaZulu at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Thursday night.

After an exciring but goalless first half, Ayanda Gcaba gave the Buccaneers the lead on 56 minutes, but Kulegani Madondo cancelled out the effort shortly afterwards.

The Buccaneers dominated possession and chances and will count themselves unlucky not have taken the three points, though Usuthu will point to a shot which hit the upright in the first half.

It was all Pirates in the early exchanges, with them having three shots at goal in the opening 10 minutes.

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Lucky Lekgwathi should have done better with a six-yard header from a corner-kick, before Andile Jali blasted way over after being played in by Kermit Erasmus.

Khethokwakhe Masuku then fired a powerful shot from 25 yards wide before AmaZulu finally got a sniff of goal when a quick free-kick played Bongani Ndulula in, but a defender just got a foot on the ball before Senzo Meyiwa cleared to safety.

An unmarked Thandani Ntshumayelo headed over on 13 minutes after more great skill by Erasmus, who himself had a great chance a minute later when he ran at the defence and fired in a shot, but it went straight at the keeper.

Goodman Dlamini had a good chance on 15 minutes when he shot powerfully from a tight angle, only for Meyiwa to get down well at his near-post.

The striker had an even better chance nine minutes later when he received the ball on the edge of the area and unleashed a snap-shot. The diving Meyiwa was well beaten, but the ball hit the upright and was cleared to safety.

Pirates ended the half like they started it – in the ascendancy and creating chances, the best of which fell to Masuku on 42 minutes. Thabo Matlaba made a trademark run down the left and put in a perfect cross to Masuku, who hit it first-time on the volley, but straight at goalkeeper Aubrey Mathibe. 

Bucs continued their dominance after the break, with first Masuku firing in a shot which Mathibe tipped over, before Happy Jele forced the goalkeeper to parry for a corner from a tight angle.

And from the resultant corner on 56 minutes, Pirates took the lead. Gcaba rose above the defence and, with Mathibe having half committed to coming for the cross, he was left to head into an empty net.

To their credit, AmaZulu refused to roll over and 11 minutes later they drew level. Marc van Heerden’s free-kick from the left found an unmarked Nyadombo, who buried his header past Meyiwa.

Pirates tried their best to hit back, and should have done so on 82 minutes when Aubrey Ngoma made a lovely run down the left and crossed to Matlaba, but the fullback inexplicably put his shot from right in from of goal wide.

Jele and Gcaba came close with shots in injury-time, but ultimately Bucs were forced to settle for a point, meaning they have picked up just a solitary point from their two matches in 2014.

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