Pirates draw 1-1 against Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns failed to close the gap on the Absa Premiership leaders after playing to a 1-1 draw against Orlando Pirates in a league match at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Brazilians dropped to third place following Bidvest Wits’ victory over Ajax Cape Town and are now 13 points behind Kaizer Chiefs while Pirates are in ninth place on the table with 19 points.

Sundowns started the better of the two teams and opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Khama Billiat turned home a low left wing cross from Themba Zwane, 1-0.

Pirates took control of possession after going behind, but their progress appeared to come to a halt in the 22nd minute when Daine Klate had to leave the field with a groin injury and was replaced by Thabo Rakhale.

Sifiso Myeni, though, had other ideas as he continued to press down the left flank and created a golden chance for Kermit Erasmus in the 26th minute.

Myeni beat two defenders on his way to the byline before cutting back for Erasmus who only had the keeper to beat from four-yards out, but he was denied by the keeper.

Erasmus made up for his glaring miss six minutes later when his corner-kick resulted in a goalmouth scramble and then a goal from Lennoc Bacela as he fired home from close range, 1-1.

As the half drew to a close Sundowns came into the game again and should have taken the lead for a second time in the final seconds of the half when Teko Modise slipped Billiat through on goal, but with just the keeper to beat the Zimbabwean fired wide.

The half ended 1-1.

Pirates came out of the blocks quick in the second half and almost found a goal in the 52nd minute when Siyabonga Sangweni struck the side netting from 16-yards out after meeting an Erasmus corner at the back post.

Six minutes later they were only denied by the woodwork when Bacela met a right-wing cross from Oupa Manyisa, but his header struck the frame of the goal.

In the 73rd minute Erasmus wasted another glorious chance when he was slipped through on goal, but again Kennedy Mweene denied him in a one-on-one situation.

Mweene, though, was at fault for Pirates’ next chance on goal in the 79th minute when his poor clearance was picked up by Lehlohonolo Majoro, but he also failed to beat the Sundowns keeper in a one-on-one.

Neither side could find the winner as the points were shared.

Orlando Pirates (1) 1 (Bacela 32’)

Mamelodi Sundowns (1) 1 (Billiat 5’)

Teams

Orlando Pirates: Mhlongo, Jele, Phungwayo, Mahamutsa, Sangweni, Sarr, Myeni, Manyisa, Bacela (Ntshumayelo 84’), Klate (Rakhale 22’), Erasmus (Majoro 78’).

Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene, Mphahlele, Mashaba, Nthethe (Evans 47’), Schut, Kekana, T. Zwane (Laffor 84’), Zungu, Malajila, Modise, Billiat (Ramagalela 80’).