Orlando Pirates threw away a two-goal lead as they were held 2-2 by Cape Town City in an Absa Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Buccaneers stormed into a strong lead within the opening 16 minutes, but in the second stanza they allowed the Citizens to fight back and salvage a share of the spoils thanks to two great goals from Ayanda Patosi.
The result sees the Soweto giants move up to third on the log on 11 points, while the Cape team jumps to 10th with six points.
Pirates claimed the lead as early as the eighth minute, as a long ball over the top of the defence from Thembinkosi Lorch allowed Augustine Mulenga to run into space and direct a left-footed effort beyond Peter Leeuwenbergh – though the goalkeeper will feel he should have done better.
City almost replied just two minutes later, with Riyaad Norodien sending a cross/shot onto the crossbar from long range, while the rebound allowed Roland Putsche to send a shot on target, only to find Siyabonga Mpontshane well placed.
The Buccaneers doubled their advantage in the 16th minute when a deep corner kick found Innocent Maela unmarked at the back post, and the defender steered a header into the back of the net with City’s defence all at sea.
The hosts looked like they could go on to really punish the Cape team, but they took their foot off the pedal and the score remained 2-0 in favour of Pirates up to the half-time break.
The Citizens were much improved after the restart and began to threaten through the likes of Norodien and Ayanda Patosi – who saw a shot direct from a free kick saved by Mpontshane – and they shuffled their attack with the introduction of Siphelele Mthembu and Craig Martin.
Their improvement paid dividends in the 69th minute when Patosi scored from a superb left-footed volley to halve the deficit and bring City right back into contention.
The attacking midfielder struck again on 77 minutes. Having earlier been denied by Mpontshane from a free kick, he took advantage of some poor positioning from the ‘keeper at another dead-ball situation and sent a curling effort into the back of the net for 2-2.
The remainder of the match saw the teams trade half chance, but in the end they settled for a 2-2 draw and one league point apiece.
Orlando Pirates (2) 2 (Mulenga 8’, Maela 16’)
Cape Town City (0) 2 (Patosi 69’ 77’)
Pirates: Mpontshane, Matlaba (Shonga 84’), Nyauza, Jele, Maela, Mako, Motshwari, Mlambo, Lorch (Mntambo 76’), Pule (Memela 64’), Mulenga
City: Leeuwenbergh, Cupido (Martin 68’), Mngonyama, Kouadja, Edmilson, Putsche, Nodada, Patosi, Norodien (Kateregga 84’), Links, Rusike (Mthembu 60’).