Maritzburg, Bucs share the spoils


The clash got off to a fiery start with both sides looking to get a goal in the opening exchanges.

Maritzburg nearly broke the deadlock after 14 minutes but Pirates' experienced defender Happy Jele got back in time to deny Siphesihle Ndlovu a certain goal from six-yards out.

Ndlovu was proving to be a real threat for the home side and he went close again after 28 minutes with a header that was saved by Wayne Sandilands.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper was called upon once again two minutes later as he pulled off a good save to palm away Evans Rusike's curling effort from 20-yards out.

Maritzburg shot-stopper Richard Ofori was called into action five minutes before the break as he did well to deny Bucs captain Thabo Matlaba and striker Thamsanqa Gabuza in quick succession.

Pirates thought they had the opening goal after 53 minutes, but Ntsikelelo Nyauza's goal was ruled out due a to an earlier infringement.

Both coaches opted for a change just before the hour-mark as Fortune Makaringe came on for Maritzburg, while the visitors introduced Thabo Rakhale.

Clear-cut chances, however, were hard to come by for both sides in the second half, as Pirates were let down by their decision-making in the final third.

Pirates threw on Thembinkosi Lorch and 17-year-old Lyle Foster for the final 10 minutes as they pushed for a winning goal.

The hosts were then forced to play the closing stages with 10 men after Ndlovu was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Both sides pushed for a winning goal, but 0-0 was how the clash ended at the Harry Gwala Stadium.