Orlando Pirates have joined Mamelodi Sundowns and Baroka FC in a three-way tie at the top of the Absa Premiership after they played out a goalless draw at home to SuperSport United on Tuesday.
The result at a sodden Orlando Stadium sees the Buccaneers ranked third on goal difference, with ‘Downs top and Baroka second after the former thrashed the latter in a concurrent game in Tshwane. Matsatsants are up one place to ninth, five points adrift of the top.
SuperSport established themselves as the dominant force early in the game, though the first genuine attempt at goal came from Pirates’ Thamsanqa Gabuza, who shot wide of the near post following a set piece in the ninth minute.
Two minutes later United should have claimed the lead, with Bucs’ Jackson Mabokgwane unable to claim a cross which saw the ball fall at the feet of Jeremy Brockie, but the usually composed striker blasted his effort over the top from close range.
That incident set the tone for the rest of the first half, with Matsatsantsa dominant but unable to hit the back of the net. Brockie struck the woodwork in the 38th minute with an effort from a tight angle, while the rebound was put off target by Dean Furman.
And the best chance of the first stanza arrived just a couple of minutes before the break, as a poor defensive header from Gladwin Shitolo gave Clayton Daniels a glaring chance right in front of goal, but the United man somehow put his effort over the bar.
Pirates made a tactical switch early in the second half by withdrawing Riyaad Norodien and putting on Thabiso Kutumela, and the striker nearly broke the deadlock with a shot which flashed just wide in the 62nd minute.
With 15 minutes to play Bucs missed out on another great chance, as a poor goal kick from United ‘keeper Reyaad Pieterse handed Mpho Makola a sight of goal, but the midfielder dragged his low shot wide.
The final chance of the game went the way of former Pirates attacking midfielder Sifiso Myeni, who volleyed a dropping ball on the edge of the box and sent a low effort wide of the target in the 89th minute.
Pirates: Mabokgwane, Shitolo, Nyauza, Chabalala, Matlaba, Nyatama, Sangweni, Norodien (Kutumela 52’), Makola, Memela, Gabuza (Nkosi 90+3’)
SuperSport: Pieterse, Nhlapo, Daniels, Gould, Boateng, Furman, Letsholonyane (Mbule 75’), Phala, Mokoena (Mokeke 82’), Modiba (Myeni 63’), Brockie