Stellies and Bucs in goalless stalemate

Stellenbosch FC and Orlando Pirates played out a 0-0 draw in their DStv Premiership clash at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Tuesday afternoon.

The result means the Maroons have now gone nine league matches without a win and remain in 12th place on the log, just two points clear of the relegation playoff spot and with all four of the teams below then having at least one game in hand.

The Buccaneers, meanwhile, missed out on the chance to go third on the table, staying in fourth spot after a 10th draw of the season.

Stellenbosch should have claimed the lead as early as the fourth minute: Jayden Adams saw his effort from a free kick parried by goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands and a follow-up from Nathan Sinkala hit the post, with the rebound falling kindly for Ashley du Preez but he struck over from close range with the goal gaping.

Du Preez had another chance on the half-hour mark when he sprinted onto a long ball over the top of the defence, but he had the ball nicked away from him just as he was about to shoot by the recovering Abel Mabaso.

The resulting corner kick then saw Adams with a fearsome shot on target through a crowded penalty area, but Sandilands produced an excellent save to push the effort away, and a couple of minutes later Du Preez was guilty of surely one of the worst misses of the season.

Stanley Dimgba sprung the offside trap and raced through on goal, before unselfishly squaring for Du Preez, who somehow directed the ball wide of an open goal from just a couple of metres out.

Stellies continued to build pressure through the remainder of the first half, but the interval arrived with the teams still locked at 0-0.

The hosts then spurned yet another great chance in the opening 90 seconds of the second half, with Dimgba blazing over from close range after a superb defence-splitting pass from Junior Mendieta.

Pirates had their first real threat on goal on the 50 minute mark, with Kabelo Dlamini firing a shot direct from a free kick which rattled the crossbar – though Stellenbosch goalkeeper Lee Langeveldt appeared to have the effort covered had it been on target.

The Buccaneers opted for a triple change just past the hour mark, introducing Vincent Pule, Fortune Makaringe and Ben Motshwari off the bench, yet the trio struggled to make a major impact on the game.

Pule did test Langeveldt with a shot from a free kick in the 82nd minute, but otherwise the visiting team was unable to carve out the kind of chances their opponents created in the first half – and ultimately it was the Maroons’ failure to capitalise on those opportunities that was the key facet of the match.

Pirates will next be in action on Sunday, 16 May when they host Raja Casablanca in the first leg of their CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinal, while Stellies’ next DStv Premiership clash is away to Swallows FC next Tuesday, 18 May.

Stellenbosch FC 0

Orlando Pirates 0

Stellenbosch: Langeveldt, Macheke, Mthethwa, Adams (Skelem 74’), van Heerden, Scott (Msengi 75’), Sinkala, van Rooyen, Mendieta (Robertson 83’), du Preez, Dimgba (Jabaar 65’)

Pirates: Sandilands, Jooste, Hlatshwayo, Maela, Mako, Ndlovu (Makaringe 62’), Zungu, Mabaso (Motshwari 61’), Dlamini (Pule 62’), Hotto, Mhango

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