Buccaneers remain in pole position

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Palacios_close-up Gallo Images Augusto Palacios of Orlando Pirates.

Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates stretched their lead at the top of the Premiership standings, despite being held to a 0-0 draw by Wits at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

The Buccaneers remained in pole position to retain their crown, carrying a two-point lead with four games left in the campaign.

The Soweto giants are also in line for a rare consecutive treble, having already picked up two knockout medals this season.

Pirates moved to 48 points, while Mamelodi Sundowns were left two points behind in second place after a 1-0 loss to Maritzburg United in Port Elizabeth earlier in the evening.

Credit, however, should go to Wits for earning a point on a chilly night as they prevented Pirates from playing their usual game.

The hosts rarely raised a threat against the compact Clever Boys in the first 45 minutes.

The one meaningful chance fell to Klate who mishit his shot outside the area, with Wits goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro, who was off his line, recovering to hold on to the ball.

Wits could only muster a speculative long-range shot from Bhongolwethu Jayiya shortly before the break that sailed well wide of goal.

The visitors had a brighter start to the second half as Katlego Pule threaded through the middle with his effort held by Moeeneb Josephs in the Pirates goal.

Wits knocked the ball around with more confidence in the second stanza but still lacked in the final third of the field.

Chances were few and far between for Pirates, and Benni McCarthy's attempted header in the 76th minute from a Dikgang Mabalane cross on the right failed to threaten.

Substitutes Mabalane and Rudie Bester had chances in the dying moments, with Bester's shot stopped by Murambadoro after a quick counter attack.

There were tense moments at the other end as substitute Miquel Timm shaded the post after being threaded a pass by Pule as Wits nearly snuck in a late winner.

The Students stretched their poor run of results to 10 matches without a win as they continued to flail just outside the relegation zone. - Sapa

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