Orlando Pirates vs MP Black Aces PSL Absa Premiership report
Posted: 18 September 2015 Time: 18:40
Orlando Pirates could not find a winner against Mpumalanga Black Aces and had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their Absa Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium.
After a bright start from Pirates during which they completely dominitaed possession and chances, Mpho Makola opened the scoring from the edge of the area with a beautiful shot into the bottom-right corner, showing excellent technique to apply both power and bend to beat a stationary Shi-Aib Walters.
But Aces kept plugging away and got themselves back into the game in first-half stoppage time. Edwin Gyimah gave the ball away to Aubrey Ngoma, who quickly fed Collins Mbesuma in the area. The former Buccaneer made mince-meat of Rooi Mahamutsa before firing high and into the roof of the net with his right foot from close range.
Pirates created several chances early on and were comfortable before taking the lead as Thabo Rakhale and Menzi Masuku missed the best chances. Even when Makola went off with what looked like a chest injury in the 35th minute, Bucs still created chances as substitute Sifiso Myeni made his presence felt down the left.
But Muhsin Ertugral's side got their foot on the ball and were more ambitious towards the end of the half, finishing strongly as they went in search of an equaliser, and they duly punished the Sea Robbers defence after pressing them high up the pitch as Gyimah's sloppy pass was intercepted. Mbesuma did the rest, easily skinning Mahamutsa before blasting past Ovono at his near post.
The second half was a more tightly contested affair as Aces played with more confidence, buoyed by the fact that they were still in the game. However, it was Walters who proved to be their saviour on the night with several great saves.
Pirates pushed hard in the final 20 minutes as they tried to win the game but Walters made excellent saves from Thabo Matlaba, thwarting him with first with his legs as he ran through on goal and then diving low to his left to keep out a vicious Matlaba volley.
Walters also dived to his left to save a goalbound curler from Matlaba – who was later ruled offside – before conjuring up a miraculous save right at the death to deflect Lehlohonolo Majoro's shot over the bar when it looked 99 percent certain the striker would score from eight yards out, unmarked, after being teed up by Erasmus.
Despite Bucs' dominance in possession and chances, Aces held on for an unlikely point in the end. The result means AmaZayoni are now a point behind leaders Ajax Cape Town while Bucs are ninth, above Mamelodi Sundowns on goal-difference.