Result: SuperSport United 0-0 Orlando Pirates
Date: 11 April 2018
Venue: Mbombela Stadium
Orlando Pirates dropped two vital points in the Absa Premiership title race after playing to a 0-0 draw against SuperSport United at the Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday night.
The first real scoring opportunity fell to SuperSport in the 14th minute when Aubrey Mobida met a right-wing cross from Teboho Mokoena, but his 12-yard header shaved the wrong side of the crossbar.
Pirates came close to opening the scoring nine minutes later when a low left-wing cross from Innocent Maela was met by Justin Shonga, but he toe-poked the ball inches wide from eight-yards out.
In the 34th minute, Mpho Makola tried his luck from long range but saw his thunderous 30-yard effort strike the crossbar.
Two minutes later, Makola should have scored when Luvuyo Memela broke into the box from the left and squared for the former, but his six-yard effort came back off the post.
Neither side could find a goal before the break and entered the tunnel at half-time locked at 0-0.
Six minutes into the second half, Memela came close to scoring when he let fly with a 20-yard thunderbolt, but his effort was superbly tipped over the target by the SuperSport keeper.
The next significant effort on goal only came in the 70th minute when Thuso Phala fired a rather timid shot goalwards from 30-yards, which Siyabonga Mponthsane spilled, but luckily for the Pirates goalkeeper, it fell on the outside of the post.
Pirates controlled the flow of play after that and pushed forward in the final twenty minutes, but the Buccaneers could not find a winner as the game ended all-square, leaving the Soweto giants three points adrift of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, but having played a game more.
Here is how they line up.
SuperSport: 30 Williams, 18 Nhlapo, 20 Kekana, 4 Daniels, 2 Boateng, 8 Furman, 6 Letsholonyane (38 Webber 83’), 28 Mokoena, 13 Phala, 16 Modiba (23 Mnyamane 58’), 39 Rusike.
Subs: 1 Pieterse, 5 Mashamaite, 23 Mnyamane, 33 Ngele, 22 Mokeke, 38 Webber, 10 Nkhatha.
Pirates: 40 Mpontshane, 28 Dube (33 Munetsi 65’), 4 Jele, 6 Shitolo, 23 Maela, 14 Nyatama, 37 Mlambo, 5 Makola, 11 Memela, 3 Lorch (42 Mulenga 72’), 27 Shonga (15 Qalinge 81’).
Subs: 30 Sandilands, 39 Maphanga, 33 Munetsi, 18 Sarr, 15 Qalinge, 31 Gabuza, 42 Mulenga.