In what is deemed to be a curtain raiser to the Nedbank Cup final, Orlando Pirates and Sekhukhune United shared the spoils in their latest DStv Premiership encounter, recording a 1-1 draw at the Orlando Stadium.
Orlando Pirates immediately asserted themselves on the ball and penned Sekhukhune back during the early stages of the encounter. Babina Noko were thus reduced to defending their own quarters and at the same time, looked for the counter-attacking opportunity.
Babina Noko attempted to get into the game with slick build-up play from the back, however, the Buccaneers worked hard in winning the ball in the opposition half.
With 20 minutes on the clock, the Soweto Giants remained on the front foot and starved the travelling outfit of the ball for large periods of the first 45.
The Buccaneers’ pressure paid off soon after the half-hour mark as Monnapule Saleng found Terrence Dzvukamanja inside the penalty with an accurate cross, as the attacker gave his side an important lead with an accurate header.
Pirates’ lead lasted just seven minutes as Edwin Gyimah scored the equalising goal shortly before the halftime whistle. Assisted by Tresor Yamba, Edwin Gyimah found himself in the right place and the right time and headed home from close range.
The Buccaneers piled on the pressure at the beginning of the second half and often played looping balls into the Sekhukhune penalty area. Playing under the cosh, Sekhukhune did well to recycle the ball at the time.
Pirates and Sekhukhune appeared to have cancelled each other out for much of the second-half and played large chunks of the game in the middle of the park.
Babina Noko seemed to have taken a defensive approach with 10 minutes left on the clock, while searching for the direct ball when going forward.
However, the scores remained deadlocked at one goal apiece as Sekhukhune and Pirates shared the spoils at the Orlando Stadium.
Orlando Pirates: (1) (Dzvukamanja 31’)
Sekhukhune United: (1) (Gyimah 38’)
Orlando Pirates: Chaine, Hotto (Makaringe 69’), Xoki, Mthetha,Mako, Dlamini (Thabiso 69’), Makhaula, Monare (Ndlondlo 69’), Dzvukamanja, Erasmus (Makgopa 83’), Saleng
Sekhukhune United: Sangare, Zulu, Cardoso, Gyimah, Tshibwabwa, Mashikinya (Mahlangu 70’), Mokotjo, Mabasa (Letsoalo 70’), Ohizu (Mokwana 83’), Vilakazi (Shai 90’)
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