Tshegofatso Mabasa scores late to preserve Pirates' unbeaten run

Tshegofatso Mabasa proved to be the hero once again for Orlando Pirates as they conjured a 1-1 draw versus Baroka FC in a 2020-21 DStv Premiership match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The forward scored off the bench for the second game in succession to earn the Buccaneers a point and keep their unbeaten start to the season intact. The result moves Pirates up to third while Baroka remain in fifth after conceding in second-half stoppage time for the third game in succession.

Chances were few and far between in the early exchanges with Richard Ofori the first to be called into action with Thami Masiya's rasping effort straight down the Ghanaian's throat.

Pirates finally conjured a shot in anger in the 31st minute with Zakhele Lepasa offered time and space inside the area, but the forward could only succeed in firing his attempt wide of goal after being brilliantly picked out by Terrence Dzvukamanja.

Lepasa had another chance to give the Buccaneers the lead and did everything right, but Oscarine Masuluke reacted well to keep out Lepasa's header from close range on the cusp of halftime.

Bakgaga head coach Thoka Matsimela introduced Ananias Gebhardt for Cheslyn Jampies five minutes before the break in a change that raised eyebrows, but his decision was vindicated two minutes into the second-half as the Namibian struck home the opener after Ofori had dropped the ball at his feet from a free-kick.

The visitors almost doubled their lead in the 52nd minute following a quick counter-attack and Kgodiso Monama had the Ofori beaten but not the woodwork.

Baroka were made to rue all their missed chances as Pirates levelled matters in the first minute of stoppage-time. A long ball forward was played across Masuluke's goal by Deon Hotto and into the path of Mabasa who prodded home from close range to earn the hosts a point.

Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Mabasa 90+1')

Baroka FC (0) 1 (Gebhardt 47')

Orlando Pirates: Ofori; Mako, Nyauza, Hlatshwayo, Jooste, Zungu (Makgaka 78'), Ndlovu, Makaringe, Mntambo (Mabasa 61'), Dzvukamanja (Hotto 61'), Lepasa (Mhango 78').

Baroka FC: Masuluke; Jampies (Gebhardt 40'), Shozi, Sibiya, Makume, Mosele, Mgaga, Patjie (Mahlonoko 71'), Masiya, Monama (Mbulu 71'), Makgopa.