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Pirates denied by Kapini heroics

PSL

JOHANNESBURG – Another draw, but an entertaining one though as Highlands Park and Orlando Pirates failed to find the net at the Makhulong Stadium on Saturday night.

It was the same result when these sides played against each other in December last year.

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Orlando Pirates defender Happy Jele tries to hold off Peter Shalulile of Highlands Park at Makhulong Stadium. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

The only difference was there were goals in that match compared to this one as they played to a 2-2 stalemate.

In this encounter, Kjell Jonevret made one change in the starting line-up which played to a 2-0 win against Maritzburg United on Tuesday, with Ntsikelelo Nyauza coming in for Patrick Phungwayo in defence.

The Buccaneers started on a good note, adding numbers to their attack while being extremely cautious in defence.

Gordon Igesund’s men struggled to infiltrate them, and when they were presented with a chance to, Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane was well positioned to make the required saves.

What made it difficult for the Highlands side to find the back of the net in the first period was the work-rate of central midfielder Issa Sarr on the night.

Sarr dropped back each time his side were under siege, and pushed forward whenever they were on attack.

The only blunder the Togolese international made was when he committed a foul outside the box just seconds before the break.

Franklin Cale stepped up to take the set-piece, but the stocky centre forward’s shot hit the upright.

Just two minutes after the break, Mpho Makola unleashed a powerful shot inside the 18-yard area. However, Highlands keeper Tapuwa Kapini was well placed to deny him that chance.

In the first half, the veteran shot-stopper had been the only barrier Pirates had to get past to find an opener.

Kapini read their transition plays pretty well and twice denied Oupa Manyisa, who had received two beautiful passes from Ndoro and Thabo Matlaba respectively inside the box.

The goalless draw means that Pirates remained in ninth position in the Absa Premiership, while Highlands moved up one place off the bottom of the log to 15th, ahead of Baroka FC on goal difference.

Independent Media
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