No goals were scored in the fiery encounter between Orlando Pirates and Maritzburg United. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

BLOEMFONTEIN – Orlando Pirates and Maritzburg United played to a 0-0 draw at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Tuesday evening, in a fiery Premiership game which both teams ended with 10-men on the pitch respectively.

Happy Jele and Kwanda Mngonyama received their marching orders within the space of 17 second-half minutes, with the Buccaneers captain now set to miss his club's Soweto Derby clash against Kaizer Chiefs this coming weekend.

A point moves Pirates up to seventh place on the log standings while Maritzburg move down to 10th following Bloemfontein Celtic's resounding win over Highlands Park at the same time.

Man-of-the-match Richard Ofori, who will face Bafana Bafana later this month in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, was called into action as early as the 1st minute to deny Kabelo Dlamini from close range.

Dlamini fired another shot in the Ghanaian's direction in the 37th minute, but his free-kick whistled inches over the crossbar with the Maritzburg shot-stopper scrambling to his left.

Ofori was called into action once more three minutes later, this time to deny Vincent Pule whose shot from an acute angle looked sure to creep in at the near post.

Maritzburg ended the half strongly, but Pirates' defence held firm as the two teams headed for the tunnel at the break at level pegging.

Pirates were dealt a major blow in the 61st minute as Jele received his marching orders following a second bookable offence, only for Maritzburg's Mngonyama to follow him to the changing rooms soon after - also for a second yellow.

The hosts came within inches of grabbing all three points in the 80th minute of the match, but Justin Shonga was desperately unlucky to see his powerful shot canon off the crossbar and down onto the line before bouncing away from danger.

Pirates looked the most likely to grab a late winner with Mhango the main protagonist, but it was not to be for the Soweto giants as their league struggles continue. 

African News Agency (ANA)