Resilient Polokwane Hold Pirates To Draw
Absa Premiership Report: Orlando Pirates v Polokwane City 20 January 2018
Result: Orlando Pirates 1-1 Polokwane City
Venue: Orlando Stadium
Date: 20 January 2018
A late equaliser from Orlando Pirates saw them save face and salvage a 1-1 draw with Polokwane City at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.
George Chigova was the first goalkeeper to be tested, making a diving save to keep out Justin Shonga’s strike from just inside the box in the 10th minute.
However, Polokwane City enjoyed a promising spell on attack afterwards. In the 18th minute, they were rewarded. Jabu Maluleke’s cross from the right found Dominic Chungwa, who rifled the ball into the net with a powerful first-time shot.
Pirates struggled to find their rhythm after going behind. Their next half-chance came in the 26th minute, when Mthokozisi Dube almost wormed his way through the defence. However, he was unable to properly test Chigova under pressure.
At the other end, Polokwane City continued to cause problems for their defence, but failed to pose any further serious threat to Jackson Mabokgwane in the first half.
Chigova also had very little more to do before the break bar keeping out a Luvuyo Memela shot in the 42nd minute. Thabiso Kutumela let him off the hook a minute later, firing over the bar after latching onto a lovely long pass.
Kutumela was the man to make way in the first substitution of the game in the 56th minute, as Milutin Sredojevic replaced him with Thembinkosi Lorch. Five minutes later, goalscorer Chungwa was stretchered off and Bernard Molekwa made his first change, bringing on Muhammad Sulumba.
Micho got his last two substitutes on with plenty of time to spare. In the 68th minute, Dube was replaced by Ayanda Nkosi. Then, six minutes later, Innocent Maela was replaced by Lyle Foster.
The Buccaneers finally began to show more urgency in the closing stages and Ndivhuwo Ravhuhali was forced into a clearance off the line to deny Lorch and keep the scores level in the 79th minute.
With four minutes plus stoppage time remaining, Foster swung the game on its head. The ball deflected into the youngster’s path inside the Polokwane City box and he hammered it into the net off the crossbar.
As a result, Pirates maintained their unbeaten start to 2018, although their performance was far from assured.
Here's how they lined up: