Pirates held as dire season worsens
Posted: 17 May 2017 Time: 16:42
Orlando Pirates look set to miss out on a top-eight finish for the first time in the PSL era after playing out a goalless draw against Ajax Cape Town on Wednesday.
The Orlando Stadium encounter proved a fruitless affair, with the stalemate leaving the Buccaneers three points adrift of Ajax, who occupy the final MTN8 qualifying position of eighth with one game remaining. And with the Urban Warriors boasting a superior goal difference, Pirates are seemingly resigned to a bottom-half finish.
The Buccaneers forged a decent scoring chance after just seven minutes as Issa Sarr rose well to meet a delivery into the area, only for the midfielder to send his header straight at Brandon Peterson.
Marc van Heerden then worked a good opportunity for Pirates after putting a telling delivery into the area, although Tendai Ndoro was just unable to make contact as the chance went begging.
Kjell Jonevret’s men then looked to test the goalkeepers with long-range efforts, although neither Riyaad Norodien nor Sarr were able to keep their efforts on target as they each fired shots wide of the mark.
Thabo Matlaba then probably should have done better after being played in following some excellent build-up play, only for him to blaze his shot wide when he had the whole of the goal to aim for.
Ajax worked a good chance six minutes after the restart as the ball sat nicely for Travis Graham to hammer at goal, although Happy Jele was well placed to make a vital block.
The visitors arguably should have taken the lead with 54 minutes gone after a corner fell perfectly to Roscoe Pietersen, only for the defender to blaze his shot woefully over the bar.
Van Heerden came close to opening the scoring with an hour gone after unleashing a rasping drive, although Petersen again produced a fantastic save to keep the score goalless.
The chances kept coming, this time at the other end from an Ajax corner, although Pietersen again wasted a good chance after sending his header over the bar.
Pirates: Mabokgwane, Mobara, Jele, Matlaba, Van Heerden, Sarr, Rakhale, Norodien, Wome (Motupa 63'), Ndoro (Gabuza 63')
Subs: Mhlongo, Gcaba, Nyauza, Memela, Nkosi
Ajax: Isaacs, Pietersen, Coetzee, Lebusa, Graham, Kabwe, Mdabuka, Nxumalo, Mzwakali (Mokoena 71'), Makua
Subs: February, Mabaso, Chipeta, Lertey, Sasman, Paulse
HOME: Orlando Pirates
Coach: Kjell Jonevret
AWAY: Ajax Cape Town
Coach: Stanley Menzo