Maritzburg hold Buccaneers
Posted: 6 May 2015 Time: 21:36
Maritzburg United and Orlando Pirates played to an entertaining 1-1 draw at Harry Gwala Stadium in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday night.
Deolin Mekoa opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute in a cut-and-thrust game after Kurt Lentjies brilliantly took the ball out of the air and played him in, his deflected shot skidding past Brighton Mhlongo.
Maritzburg took the game to Pirates in the opening 20 minutes but the away side gradually got back into the match as the first half ended with end-to-end action.
Kermit Erasmus and Thamsanqa Gabuza's partnership picked up where it left off from the last game as the pair nearly combined to great effect again, but Erasmus' square pass for Gabuza was just behind him.
Erasmus would not be denied in the 65th minute though, receiving the ball from Mpho Makola, cutting inside from the right towards the 'D', then back onto his right foot before burying a shot into the bottom-left corner.
Maritzburg twice had one-on-one chances to score more goals but mhlongo stood tall on both occasions, first from Mohamed Anas and in the fifth minute of stoppage time from the irrepressible Lentjies, who had an outstanding game.
Gabuza was also guilty of missing a golden opportunity earlier in the game when he did all the hard work to get on the end of Erasmus' deflected cross from the right, but the ball got stuck under his feet as he failed to pull the trigger and Virgil Vries was able to smother the chance just four yards from the goal-line.
In the end neither side could find a winner as it ended 1-1, with the result meaning Pirates can no longer finish in second spot to play in the CAF Champions League next season.