Orlando Pirates dropped points in the Premier Soccer League when they drew 0-0 with SuperSport United in a match which they dominated at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday evening.
Despite his side having claimed a 1-0 win over Royal AM on Wednesday, Pirates coach Jose Riveiro made changes to the starting line-up. The Spanish tactician recalled Vincent Pule and Tapelo Xoki to the starting line-up as club captain Innocent Maela and talisman Thembinkosi Lorch were surprisingly dropped to the bench.
On the other hand, SuperSport were desperate to record their first win of the season having succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to TS Galaxy last weekend. Coach Gavin Hunt deployed Bradley Grobler upfront as a lone striker, while Thulani Hlatshwayo faced his former side for the first time since he left Pirates three months ago.
SuperSport threatened first through Bradley Grobler who has a knack for scoring against Pirates. Thapelo Maseko won back possession in Pirates' half before quickly playing a top-notch cross into the visitors' box and Grobler's glancing header went wide of the target with goalkeeper Richard Ofori, who was captaining the Buccaneers on the night, rooted to the ground.
The Buccaneers then took control of the match and they were nearly gifted a goal when Bienvenu Eva Nga pressed keeper George Chigova whose shot deflected off the Pirates striker and the ball missed the right upright. Deon Hotto then hit the side-netting after being set up by Vincent Pule as pressure mounted on Matsatsantsa.
Chigova was then called into action just before half-time after Vincent Pule had cut inside from the right and unleashed a fierce shot which was parried away by the Zimbabwean shot-stopper. The score was 0-0 at the interval with SuperSport having contained Pirates in a first half which was dominated by the visitors.
Bucs continued from where they had left off in the first half as Eva Nga unleashed a powerful shot with his weaker left foot and Chigova pulled off a superb diving save. Hotto then found an unmarked Kabelo Dlamini in the hosts' box with a lovely cross from the left, but the latter placed his shot inches wide of the target with Chigova well-beaten.
Hunt decided to refresh his midfield as Pirates were dominating this department. The four-time PSL title-winning coach pulled out Thalethe Mbatha who was having a quiet game and introduced Bafana Bafana international Jesse Donn as the hosts looked to regain control of the game and push for a late winning goal.
The last chance of the game fell for former Pirates striker Thamsanqa Gabuza after Ofori had left his goal line, but somehow the lanky frontman failed to guide the ball into an empty net much to the dismay of the SuperSport players and technical team. Ultimately, the Gauteng Derby encounter ended in a 0-0 draw.
Despite the draw, Pirates moved up to the third spot on the league standings and they will now host Marumo Gallants on Wednesday. SuperSport climbed out of the relegation zone as they are now placed 14th on the standings and they are scheduled to face Richards Bay away on Wednesday.