ARROWS, PIRATES PLAY OUT STALEMATE

Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates played out a goalless stalemate in their DStv Premiership clash at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Neither Abafaba Bes’thende nor the Buccaneers got out of second gear in the clash, with the result seeing the Durban club move up one spot to ninth on 12 points, while their Soweto counterparts are also up one position to seventh on 15 points.

The first chance of the game went the way of Pirates in the second minute, with striker Kwame Peprah holding off close attention from a defender before stabbing a shot on target, but Arrows goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede made a sharp save diving to his left.

On six minutes the hosts had their first sight of goal, with a smart dummy from Michael Gumede giving Nduduzo Sibiya a shooting chance which he pulled wide, before the visitors hit the woodwork three minutes later via a long-range effort from midfielder Fortune Makaringe.

The Buccaneers continued to create half-chances and pinned Arrows back in defence for another quarter hour, but they were unable to capitalise on their spells of pressure.

It was then the turn of Arrows to find their attacking rhythm, with the likes of Siboniso Conco, Sibisi, Pule Mmodi and Michael Gumede combining well, though Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane was largely untested through the first half.

The last major highlight before the interval arrived on 42 minutes when Deon Hotto struck the crossbar with a fine strike direct from a free kick – goalkeeper Gumede was beaten all ends up and would have breathed a sigh of relief at the thump of the ball striking the frame of the goal.

Goalless at the break, Pirates opted for a change at the start of the second half by swapping out Abel Mabaso (who was on a yellow card) for Thabang Monare to anchor the midfield. Arrows waited eight minutes until a double change to freshen their midfield and attack, with Velemseni Ndwandwe and Lindokuhle Mtshali rising off the bench.

Both teams struggled to create scoring opportunities, with the first notable effort only arriving midway through the second stanza when Hotto again tried his luck from long range, but sent his strike over the target.

On 77 minutes, a Hotto free kick caused mayhem in a crowded Arrows penalty area, with Makaringe firing off a shot that was blocked at close range by midfielder Nqobeko Dlamini.

Arrows had a fantastic chance to break the deadlock on 86 minutes when a counter attack brought up a chance for substitute Thubelihle Magubane, but his shot was blocked by the legs of teammate Dlamini, and ultimately the teams settled for a share of the spoils.

Pirates will be back in DStv Premiership action on Wednesday 24 November with a match away to Stellenbosch FC, while Arrows’ next league outing is at home to Baroka FC next Sunday, 28 November.

Golden Arrows 0Orlando Pirates 0

Golden Arrows: N. Gumede, M. Dube, Sibisi, Zuke, Mantshiyane, L. Dube (Ndwandwe 53’), Dlamini, Mmodi, Sibiya (Mtshali 53’), Conco (Magubane 82’), M. Gumede

Orlando Pirates:Mpontshane, Shandu, Nyauza, Ndah, Mako (Radiopane 77’), Makgaka (Dzvukamanja 62’), Mabaso (Monare 46’), Makaringe, Mntambo (Makhubela 63’), Hotto, Preprah (Dlamini 90+1’)© Backpage TXT

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