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Pirates leave it late to draw with Baroka

News24
29 Nov 2020, 04:10 GMT+10

Tshegofatso Mabasa came to Orlando Pirates' rescue on Saturday afternoon as he popped up at the death to net a crucial equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Baroka FC.

The start of the first half proved to be a scrappy affair, with goal scoring chances at a premium at both ends of the pitch.

Pirates started slowly but took control of proceedings once they got going, with Nkanyiso Zungu and Fortune Makaringe both blocked by the Baroka defence in quick succession.

Baroka eventually mustered a response in the 23rd minute but it came to nothing as Thamsanqa Masiya saw his shot from the centre of the box saved by Bucs keeper Richard Ofori.

The Buccaneers went on to create two great chances just after the half-hour mark but they went to waste as Zakhele Lepasa fired just wide from the left-hand side of the box, before Siphesihle Ndlovu failed to hit the mark with a speculative shot from outside the box.

Pirates redoubled their efforts as the first half drew to a close, placing Baroka under severe pressure.

However, later efforts from Lepasa and Terrence Dzvukamanja were denied by Baroka goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke.

It may have been Pirates in the driver's seat as the referee drew a close to the first half, but it was a different story after the half-time interval as Baroka claimed the lead after just two minutes of play.

From a corner, Ofori failed to hold onto the attempted cross as he spilt the ball into the path of Ananias Gebhardt, who quickly pounced to volley into an unguarded net. Baroka very nearly added a second goal in the 52nd minute but Kgodiso Monama saw his powerful shot from outside the box strike the post, much to the relief of the Pirates defence.

Pirates hit back just two minutes later but that chance too came to nothing as Dzvukamanja headed wide of the left-hand post from the right side of the box.

And, it was end-to-end stuff at Orlando Stadium as Baroka missed two golden opportunities to stretch further ahead after the hour mark, with Masiya and Monama both failing to hit the target with their respective shots on goal.

Bucs responded through Tshegofatso Mabasa, who shot inches wide in the 72nd minute before team-mate Lepasa saw his goal-bound header saved by Masuluke one minute later.

With time quickly running out, Pirates piled forward as they went in search of the equaliser, but a lack of cutting edge in front of goal let them down on more than one occasion.

Hellings Mhango headed wide of goal in the 79th minute before Collins Makgaka fired high and wide from outside the box.

However, just when it looked like Baroka had done enough to claim a memorable victory, substitute Mabasa came to Pirates' rescue in the 90th minute, latching onto Deon Hotto's squared pass before side-footing the ball home from close range.

And, with just four minutes of injury time added on by the referee, Pirates comfortably saw out the remainder of the match to claim a share of the spoils at Orlando Stadium.

- TEAMtalk media

Source: News24

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