Orlando Pirates got out of jail with a 1-1 draw against Baroka FC in the DStv Premiership on Saturday afternoon.
Surprises from the Buccaneers saw Innocent Maela, Ben Motshwari , Thabang Monare, Vincent Pule and Deon Hotto dropped from the starting line-up, while Baroka had Richard Mbulu on the bench.
Thamsanqa Masiya provided the visiting side’s first shot in anger following the midway period, but Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori stood ground to parry the midfielder’s long-range strike.
The Buccaneers responded on the half-hour mark with a snap shot into the advertising boards by Zakhele Lepasa after founding acres of space on the near side of the area.
Bakgaga began feeling the heat in the closing minutes as a cross-cum shot from the left by Paeka Mako forced Oscarine Masuluke to palm away before Siphesihle Ndlovu hoofed the follow-up.
Cheslin Jampies was removed by the visitors five minutes before halftime in favour Ananias Gebhardt in an early substitution, before Pirates went close to the opener a minute to the break through the head of Lepasa, but Masuluke pulled off an acrobatic save.
The visitors broke the deadlock in the opening minute of the second half when poor handling from Ofori from a free-kick found Gebhardt, who tucked into an empty net.
Pirates looked rattled minutes later as possession turnover in defence led in Evidence Makgopa, who shaved the face of the post with a long-range strike.
The Sea Robbers turned to the bench in the hope of a comeback on 61 minutes, as Tshegofatso Mabasa and Deon Hotto entered in place of Terrence Dzvukamanja and Linda Mntambo.
Augustine Mahlonoko, who joined Bakgaga from the Buccaneers entered in the last 20 minutes before Mabasa strayed a ball from Lepasa into the side-netting from a tight angle.
Last season’s joint top-scorer Gabadinho Mhango came on for Pirates in favour of Lepasa, with former Baroka player Collins Makgaka setting in for Nkanyiso Zungu.
The Sea Robbers levelled it up in added time when Mabasa pounced on a cutback from the far side by Hotto to tap into an empty net, as it ended all square.
Pirates: Ofori, Hlatshwayo, Nyauza, Jooste, Mako, Zungu, Ndlovu, Mntambo, Makaringe, Dzvukumanja, Lepasa.
Subs: Mpontshane, Tshobeni, Maela, Monare, Makgaka, Hotto, Mabasa, Mhango, Jele.
Baroka: Masuluke, Makume, Jampies, Shozi, Sibiya, Patjie, Masiya, Mosele, Monama, Mgaga, Makgopa.
Subs: Chipezeze, Gebhardt, Amoojee, Seema, Bowali, Mbulu, Dickens, Mahlonoko, Phir Jnr.