JOHANNESBURG – It’s such a pity that the Absa Premiership clash between Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United ended goalless on Tuesday night.
To be fair, it had everything but bulging nets on a night where there plenty of that elsewhere in the league.
In the first half alone, visitors SuperSport United should have sent a statement by burying Orlando Pirates beneath a sand of goals.
But their entire first 45 minutes was summed up by an incredible amount of missed opportunities for Matsatsantsa, who are playing catch-up because of their recent CAF Confederation Cup assignment, while the Buccaneers had their fair share in the second.
The most jaw-dropping of fluffed chances fell to SuperSport defender Clayton Daniels when he missed just two feet from the goal-line, perhaps typical of a centre-half in unfamiliar territory.
But with his experience, Daniels should have been composed and taken advantage of hapless goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane.
SuperSport also shaved the woodwork through the boot of striker Jeremy Brockie before the interval, and had a couple of sniffs at goal when Dean Furman and Reneilwe Letsholonyane had their shots either saved or going just wide.
A win here and the recent Confederation Cup finalists would have pushed their way into the top eight for first time this season with six games in hand.
They remain among the favourites to give this title chase a twist, but their outstanding matches give them no guarantees, especially when they can’t win games that were so open in their favour.
The second half was a completely different ball-game – but was nonetheless still categorised by a lack of clinical finishing from both sides.
The Buccaneers had at least caught a wake up, and actually did look like they would register their second win in eight matches.
Pirates could have gone top of the table with a win here, but were let down by the front-line.
Thamsanqa Gabuza was again the club’s go-to man as a target man linking up play to bring in Mpho Makola, Riyaad Norodien and Luvuyo Memela to offer a goal threat. Norodien was ineffective and Memela lukewarm, while Makola had some great touches but still failed to capitalise.
In fact, one of the two best chances Pirates had in the second half to take the lead fell to Makola, but – with goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse having quickly come off his line to make himself big – the creative midfielder shot just wide.
A little later, substitute Thabiso Kutumela, who took Norodien’s place, saw his attempt come off the post in a well-worked move by the Pirates attackers.
There was plenty of action even with the surface wet and slippery, but this game deserved more than a goalless draw.