Result: Orlando Pirates 1-1 TS Galaxy
Date: 26 January 2021
Venue: Orlando Stadium
Orlando Pirates missed the chance to reclaim fourth spot in the DStv Premiership table after they were held to a 1-1 draw by TS Galaxy on Tuesday evening.
Pirates made only one change from the side that edged Maritzburg United the last time out, as Ben Motshwari was recalled at the expense of Vincent Pule while youngster Azola Tshobeni earned his second straight start.
The Bucaneers enjoyed a bright start as Bongani Sam broke the deadlock in the 11th minute with a well-cushioned strike at the near post after receiving a cut-back from Fortune Makaringe.
Mxolisi Macuphu came close to finding the equaliser for the visitors just a minute later after finding space on his turn inside the six-yard box but his low shot was crucially saved by shot-stopper Richard Ofori.
Debutant Masilake Phohlongo eventually levelled matters for the Rockets in the 20th minute with a header from close range a teasing cross by Luckyboy Mokoena.
Josef Zinnbauer's charges had the attacking momentum in the closing stages of the half, with Galaxy looking for chances on the break but neither side could carve out clear openings for the remainder of the stanza.
With both sides going at each other after the break, Mlungisi Mbunjana came close to giving Owen Da Gama's charges the lead in the 66th minute from the break with a looping strike from outside the box that swerved slightly over the top corner.
Deon Hotto came the closest to grabbing the lead for Pirates four minutes later with a long range effort from a tight angle that crashed against the crossbar against the post.
Thembinkosi Lorch almost snatched the winner for the Buccaneers in the last 13 minutes with a threatening strike from range that missed the far post agonisingly wide, as Galaxy held on for the share of the spoils.
Here's how they started:
Pirates: 31. Ofori, 4. Jele, 14. Hlatshwayo, 23. Maela, 19. Sam, 16. Monare, 15. Makaringe, 6. Motshwari, 34. Tshobeni, 11. Hotto, 3. Lorch.
Subs: 30. Sandilands, 45. Pule, 39. Mundele, 32. Mntambo, 21. Zungu, 18. Dlamini, 17. Jooste, 8. Ndlovu, 5. Nyauza
Galaxy: 16. Heugh, 24. Modisane, 37. Fransman, 4. M.Mahlangu, 26. Mokoena, 6. Mbunjana, 15. Aubaas, 35. Mbatha, 28. Phohlongo, 19. Lekay, 29. Macuphu.
Subs: 1. Van der Linde, 38. Letsholonyane, 21. Badenhorst, 34. Wambi, 36. Mahola, 8. Nduli, 2. Bodibe, 5. Msimango, 11. Nyama.
Check out how Pirates have assembled their strong squad for the 2020/21 season