Orlando Pirates extended their winless run in the DStv Premiership to three games after playing out to a goalless draw against Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Bongani Sam, Terrence Dzvukamanja and Linda Mntambo were all named in Pirates’ starting lineup, while the likes of Goodman Mosele and Ntsako Makhubela were not included in the squad.
The Buccaneers got the game off to a good start and saw more possession of the ball as they looked for an early lead, while the Team of Choice sat back and soaked up the pressure in the opening exchanges of the match.
Pirates produced the first chance of the half after nine minutes but Olisa Ndah’s looping header was comfortably saved by Marcel Engelhardt.
Tshegofatso Mabasa had a golden opportunity to hand Pirates the lead in the 16th minute but had his shot from a tight angle blocked by Engelhardt in a one on one situation.
The Maritzburg keeper was kept busy in the first 20 minutes and he was forced into making another low save to deny Linda Mntambo, who found space just outside the box before letting off his shot.
Thabang Monare had a good chance to break the deadlock in the 26th minute when he advanced forward before shooting from outside the box, only to see his strike deflect out for a corner.
The Buccaneers had two chances to take the lead just after the half-hour mark but Mntambo and Terrence Dzvukamanja were unable to find the back of the net or the target.
Both teams pressed forward in the closing stages of the first half but neither side could break the deadlock as the game went into the break locked at 0-0.
The Team of Choice made their first substitution early in the second half as Daylon Claasen was brought on to replace Riyaaz Ismail.
Maritzburg should have opened the scoring in the 51st minute when Amadou Soukouna made his way through on goal before unleashing a strike that looked to be heading for the back of the net but Paseka Mako put his body on the line to block his effort.
The Buccaneers had a chance to make it 1-0 in the 58th minute when a free-kick resulted in a corner taken by Mntambo, who forced a save out of Engelhardt.
Ernst Middendorp made his second substitution of the game just after the hour mark as Bongokuhle Hlongwane was taken off and replaced by Keegan Ritchie.
Maritzburg were then reduced to 10-men in the 65th minute when Monare was hacked down by Theron, who subsequently received his marching orders after he was shown a red card.
Pirates made the choice to make a double substitution three minutes later as Simiso Wandile Bophela and Deon Hotto came on for Shadu and Sam before bringing on Kwame Peprah to replace Dzvukamanja five minutes later.
Makaringe should have handed Pirates the lead in the 75th minute when he went for goal but the attacker fired his curling effort just wide of the target.
Ndah kept his side in the game in the 85th minute when he produced a classy tackle to deny Sekola, who was surging towards the goal for the Team of Choice.
Both sides pressed forward in the closing stages of the game as they went in search of the winning goal but neither side could find the net as the game ended goalless.
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