With both teams going great guns in the early rounds of the PSL season, this much-anticipated fixture which pitted two sides that are normally renowned for their enterprising style of play failed to explode as a contest.
Instead, both teams adopted a more circumspect approach, patiently waiting for a chink in each other’s armour.
Arrows’ Thamsanqa Gabuza had the best chance of the half when he found himself in a one-on-one with Pirates keeper Moneeb Josephs in the 29th minute, but the striker spurned the opportunity through his lack of composure.
Earlier, Pirates wingers Dikgang Mabalane and Teko Modise had near misses in a space of a minute. First Mabalane hit the side-netting from a tight angle in the ninth minute; this was followed by Modise’s crisp drive which flew across the face of the goal.
Gabuza was involved in a well-worked move with midfielder Philani Shange which created shooting room for Richard Henyekane, but the Bafana Bafana striker was unable to keep his effort on target.
The tempo of the match increased slightly in the second half. In the 53rd minute, Pirates defender Happy Jele’s long punt allowed Terror Fanteni to move menacingly into the danger area, but he delayed in having a crack at goal, allowing Sangweni to dispossess him.
Two minutes later Mabalane had his stinging drive blocked by Thanduyise Khuboni.
Shortly thereafter Modise’s chipped effort from just outside the penalty area sailed wide.
Midway through the half Nhlanhla Zothwane had Josephs lunging to his left to keep out the midfielder’s speculative effort. Joseph’s was airborne yet again in the 81st minute, this time he had to keep out Shange’s probing effort.