Pirates and Wits end in 0-0 stalemate

Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates played out to a 0-0 draw in their Absa Premiership match on Wednesday evening at Bidvest Stadium.

Nothing could separate the two teams in what was a highly physical match that saw the home side lose Papy Faty through a possible season-ending injury.

The visitors arrived into the encounter on the back of a poor run of form, having only taken one league win in their last five domestic matches.

Pirates showed a sense of cageyness when they started play and were being put under pressure with the runs Bidvest Wits made on the flanks.

Nonetheless, visitors’ counter-attacks saw them win a series of corner kicks within the opening quarter of an hour, though they were brilliantly dealt with by the opposition’s strong backline.

Kermit Erasmus came agonisingly close to opening the scoring on 16 minutes when he struck a snapshot from 15-yards out that sailed past the far post with power.

Jabulani Shongwe responded with an attempt of his own minutes later, and his effort forced Senzo Meyiwa to make a brilliant save, tipping the ball over the angular of the goal.

The Clever Boys’ momentum suffered a setback midway through the opening half when they had to replace Papy Faty through injury following a leg-breaking challenge.

Vladimir Vermezovic’s side were placing the home side under a good amount of pressure by the half hour mark, and some confusion in the box allowed for Erasmus to take a shot on the turn, only to see it glance over the goal-frame.

The Braamfontein outfit came close to snatching the lead deep inside stoppages after the ball fell perfectly for Calvin Kadi, but he could only roll it out at the far post.

The second-half got underway in disappointing circumstances as a brawl broke out between the two sides after Thandani Ntshumayelo laid a rash tackle on Tebogo Moerane, which resulted in the Pirates player being booked.

Erasmus couldn’t convert with his set-piece on 56 minutes, while Sifiso Myeni and Lehlohonolo Majoro were both thrown into the mix in order to create some more attacking impetus.

Shongwe came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock midway through the second 45, however, his effort was intercepted by Rooi Mahamutsa and Meyiwa.

The Bidvest Wits midfielder nearly snuck it at the death with an effort near the byline, however, his attempt stung the side netting as the spoils were shared.

Bidvest Wits 0

Orlando Pirates 0

Bidvest Wits: Josephs, Mngonyama, Booth, Gumede, Moerane, Mukamba (Langwe 87’), Faty (Madubanya 26’), Shongwe, Ntshangase, Kadi, Ngcobo (Kabede 71’)

Orlando Pirates: Meyiwa, Jele, Lekgwathi, Mahamutsa, Gcaba, Masuku (Myeni 60’), Ntshumayelo (Makola 83’), Manyisa, Klate, Erasmus, Bacela (Majoro 67’)