Urban Warriors hold hapless Pirates to goalless stalemate

Thabo Rakhale © Gallo Images
Thabo Rakhale © Gallo Images

Chances were few and far between as Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates played to a goalless draw in an Absa Premiership encounter at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The result leaves the Urban Warriors in eighth place on the log standings, while the Buccaneers slip down to 11th.

The Soweto giants will need a minor miracle on the last day of the season to retain their proud record of finishing in the top half of the table in every campaign thus far.

The game got off to a rather cagey start with the first chance falling to Oupa Manyisa in the 24th minute. Superb interplay between Thabo Matlaba and namesake Thabo Rakhale setting up their skipper.

With the goal at his mercy, Manyisa could only succeed in firing wide of goal when seemed easier to score.

Riyaad Norodien was then involved in a contentious moment four minutes later as he took a tumble inside the area. But the referee was correct in waving away his claims for a penalty kick against his former employers.

0-0 at the break.

A similar pattern followed after the interval with Ajax Cape Town’s first real chance coming in the 54th minute. Roscoe Pietersen guilty of blazing his attempt over the crossbar from a corner-kick.

Brandon Petersen was on hand on the hour mark to keep out Marc van Heerden’s powerful shot from range on the hour mark, with the Urban Warriors shot-stopper always drifting to the edge of his area.

Ndiviwe Mdabuka then saw his shot from range fly wide following a neat bit of skill from Neo Makua, but Pirates looked the more desperate to find the back of the net as the game approached its conclusion.

And the hosts had a late chance to snatch all three points with 89 minutes on the clock, but Petersen was up to the task – the goal-minder with a superb save to keep out Van Heerden’s stinging effort from a smartly worked corner-kick.

A fourth clean-sheet in succession leaves Ajax Cape Town in pole position of finishing in the top eight heading into their match vs Baroka FC. Orlando Pirates are away to Golden Arrows on the final day of the season.

Orlando Pirates (0) 0

Ajax Cape Town (0) 0

Orlando Pirates: Mabokgwane; Van Heerden, Mobara, Jele, Matlaba – Rakhale, Sarr, Manyisa, Norodien (Memela 76′) – Wome (Motupa 61′), Ndoro (Gabuza 61′)

Ajax Cape Town: Petersen; Isaacs, Pietersen, Coetzee, Lebusa – Graham, Kabwe, Mdabuka – Mzwakali (Mokoena 71′), Makua (Paulse 80′), Nxumalo (Lartey 87′)

Sourced from the PSL website.

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