Cape Town City dented Orlando Pirates’ title hopes as they held the Buccaneers to a 2-2 stalemate in an entertaining Premiership tussle at Athlone Stadium.
It was a heartbreaking blow for Pirates in their title’s aspirations.
The Sea Robbers knew that six points in their last two games were going to be adequate for them to lift the league because they have a healthy goal difference.
The Buccaneers are still at the summit of the table with 54 points after 29 points.
It is now advantage Mamelodi Sundowns. They were not involved this past weekend as they were focused on the Caf Champions League.
The Brazilians are second with 53 points after 28 games. They will go on top on Tuesday if they defeat Lamontville Golden Arrows. That will mean they require three points in their last game to win the title.
Pirates will face Polokwane City in their last league outing, while Sundowns take on Arrows and Free State Stars.
The Citizens showed that they were hungry for maximum points in their own territory as they took the lead as early as the first minute on Saturday.
The Buccaneers were caught off guard as Zukile Kewuti broke the deadlock when some of the supporters were still trying to get into the stadium, after the game was delayed by 15 minutes.
Pirates dominated the first half, but failed to create any meaningful chances.
They levelled the matters via the boot of Thembinkosi Lorch after 15 minutes.
The game was very physical, as both sides had a go at each other from the start.
The atmosphere was electric at the stadium as the masses came in their numbers to witness this blockbuster encounter.
Luvuyo Memela put Pirates in the lead in the 52nd minute.
City goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburg made a fantastic save to deny Lorch, but knocked the rebound into the path of Memela, who unleashed from the box, although Taariq Fielies blocked the attempt.
The ball went back to Memela, who finally rattled the net.
Thami Mkhize made a vital interception 10 minutes into the second half as Lorch combined nicely with Memela, but the City captain cleared the ball just in time.
Mkhize was then kept at bay by Wayne Sandilands, who produced a good save to deny City.
The home side finally levelled matters with a well-taken header by Craig Martin, who profited from an exquisite cross from Thato Mokeke.
The equaliser came after 84 minutes, and was a well deserved one for City as they attacked Pirates relentlessly.
Full time:— Cape Town City FC (@CapeTownCityFC) May 4, 2019
CT City 2️⃣ -2️⃣ Pirates
What a fantastic game of football! The boys took the lead early in the first half through Kewuti but had to fight late on to make the score 2-2 through a Craig Martin header 💙
Our hero continues to inspire 💫
Mulitin Sredojevic closed shop 15 minutes before the final whistle when he brought Xola Mlambo in the place of Memela.
The Serbian coach was intending to stabilise the Pirates midfield with that move by adding more numbers.
But when City equalised, Sredojevic changed his tactics, taking off Siyabonga Dube and Innocent Maele. The duo were replaced by the attacking options of Augustine Mulenga and Thabo Qalinge.
Sandilands made another vital save in the dying minutes of the game when Riyaad Norodien curled two lovely free kicks, with the former Bafana Bafana goal-minder came up to the task.
⚫️⚪️🔴⭐️— Orlando Pirates FC (@orlandopirates) May 4, 2019
FT || @CapeTownCityFC 2-2 @orlandopirates
🥅 Lorch 15’
🥅 Memela 50’
CTC equalized, leading to a frenzied closing few minutes as both sides pushed to take the maximum points. All even in the Mother City with one game left in the season.
☠️🔵☠️🔵☠️#OnceAlways #AbsaPrem pic.twitter.com/GiZibbkvIf