Chiefs, Pirates play out stalemate


Thabo Qalinge nearly opened the scoring in the third minute with a fierce shot from 25-yards that had goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune reacting late to parry the low effort.

The Buccaneers enjoyed a lot of possession in the early stages but the Amakhosi were waiting to pounce on counter-attacks and Bernard Parker had such a chance on the break in the 10 minute, but Wayne Sandilands reacted quickly to avert the danger inside the box.

Siyabonga Ngezana was terribly unlucky in the 27th minute as he hit the bottom of the upright with a downward header inside the box after beating two markers to connect with a set-piece from George Maluleka.

Ten minutes later, Khune was called upon once again as he produced another fine save to keep out Qalinge's powerful low strike from 25-yards out.

Milutin Sredojevic's charges were frustrated by the hosts playing deep in their own half, with clear-cut chances hard to come by. As a result the first stanza ended goalless.

The opening stages of the second half proved to be a quiet affair, as neither side looked threatening.

The game opened up after 65 minutes following alterations, with Gustavo Paez replacing Hendrick Ekstein and Thamsanqa Gabuza coming on for Thabo Rakhale.

Willard Katsande forced a brilliant save out of Sandilands with a powerful header five minutes later as the hosts pushed for an opening goal with 20 minutes remaining.

Bernard Morrison had the ball in the back of the net two minutes later, but was adjudged to have used his hand a minute later and was booked by the referee.

The last 10 minutes saw the match losing its tempo and the two sides ultimately settled for a share of spoils.