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Bucs' Top Eight Hopes Take Another Dent

Absa Premiership

Result: Orlando Pirates 0-0 Ajax Cape Town

Date: 17 May 2017

Venue: Orlando Stadium

Orlando Pirates' top eight hopes took another dent, after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Ajax Cape Town on Wednesday evening.

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The Urban Warriors threatened early on with Prince Nxumalo going close with a low effort inside the opening minute, before Kabwe forced Jackson Mabokgwane into a save five minutes later.

Pirates eventually started seeing more of the ball after 10 minutes while the likes of Riyaad Norodien and Issa Sarr tested Ajax's Brandon Petersen.

Oupa Manyisa squandered a golden chance to hand the hosts the lead after 24 minutes, but he blazed over the crossbar from close range.

Thabo Rakhale was proving to be a real threat as the half went on, and he managed to put in a couple teasing crosses, which were not converted by his peers.

The home side ended the half the stronger of the two sides, but were unable to bypass the Ajax defence, who put in a few good last-ditch tackles in the closing stages.

The Urban Warriors had their first real chance at goal after 54 minutes when the ball fell for Roscoe Pietersen, who blazed over from close range.

Petersen then came to Ajax's rescue four minutes later as he produced a fine save to keep out Marc Van Heerden's powerful effort from distance.

Kjell Jonevret opted for a double change in the 59th minute as Gift Motupa and Thamsanqa Gabuza replaced Dove Wome and Tendai Ndoro.

With the sides still struggling, Stanley Menzo opted for a change of his own after 71 minutes as Lebohang Mokoena repalced Bantu Mzwakali.

Both sides pushed for a winning goal and the visitors also threw on Nathan Paulse in the closing stages with a top eight spot up for grabs.

Pirates nearly snatched victory in the 90th minute but Petersen produced a superb save to keep out another powerful strike from Van Heerden, as the clash ended goalless.

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Here's how they lined up:

Pirates: 16. Mabokgwane, 45. Mobara, 4. Jele, 8. Matlaba, 36. Van Heerden, 18. Sarr, 20. Manyisa, 25. Rakhale, 26. Norodien, 35. Wome (Motupa 59'), 7. Ndoro (Gabuza 59').
 
Ajax: 1. Petersen, 20. Isaacs, 27. Pietersen, 3. Coetzee, 5. Lebusa, 6. Graham, 35. Kabwe, 8. Mdabuka, 15. Nxumalo (Lartey 87'), 11. Mzwakali (Mokoena 71'), 17. Makua.
 

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