Bucs move second after Arrows draw
Orlando Pirates were unable to convert their superiority into goals in a 0-0 Premiership draw with Golden Arrows at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.
- Orlando Pirates 0 Golden Arrows 0
- Caio Marcelo makes his debut for Bucs
- Pule goes close with a late free kick
- Pirates move one point behind Wits
The Sea Robbers had all of the ball in the first half but never threatened the opposition goal and it was the visitors who had the only clear chance of the first 45 minutes. Bucs sprung to life in the final 25 minutes of the game, but some resolute defending from the KZN side kept them at bay.
Arrows went close in the 15th minute when Danny Phiri's angled effort towards the far post narrowly missed picking out a team-mate before the ball rolled just wide of the upright.
Pirates meanwhile were enjoying plenty of ball possession, but struggled to find the key to unlock a well organised Abafana bes'Thende defence.
When Bucs did get a shot in goal, it was from range as Thabo Matlaba fired wide on the half hour mark.
For the most part though, the remainder of the first half proved frustrating for the Sea Robbers as they continued to make all of the play without managing to pose any threat to the Durban team's goal.
Bucs stopper Siyabonga Mpontshane was called into his first serious action of the night, 10 minutes into the second half, when he stood firm to keep out a point-blank header from Sibusiso Sibeko.
Another chance followed for Sibeko on the hour mark as his on-target shot deflected off a defender and out for a corner.
More followed for Arrows as Lionel Mutizwa, six yards out from goal, came close to getting a touch on a Nduduzo Sibiya's free kick.
A mistake from Abafana bes'Thende keeper Nkosingiphile Gumede in the 76th minute saw Vincent Pule going in on goal, but he was denied the chance to shoot after a superb tackle from Devine Lungu, before Nkanyiso Mngwengwe made an equally good tackle on Thabo Matlaba in the box a few minutes later.
Ntsikelelo Nyauza almost cost Bucs a point when his deflected clearance almost ended in his own net three minutes from time, before Pule nearly snatched a 91st minute winner with a free kick which dipped onto the roof of the net.