Orlando Pirates frustrated by 10-man Maritzburg in goalless draw

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Olisa Ndah of Orlando Pirates challenges Amadou Soukouna of Maritzburg United (Gallo Images)
Olisa Ndah of Orlando Pirates challenges Amadou Soukouna of Maritzburg United (Gallo Images)

Orlando Pirates, who remain without a head coach, suffered a goalless draw in the DStv Premiership against a 10-man Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday.

Josef Zinnbauer resigned more than two months ago, with assistant coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids filling the void on an interim basis.

The duo has overseen eight matches securing two victories, five draws, and a single defeat while Pirates chairperson Irvin Khoza decides who will get the big job.

Ahead of the Maritzburg encounter, the Buccaneers were held to a goalless away draw to Congo side Diables Noirs in the CAF Confederation Cup second preliminary round first leg.

Maritzburg succumbed to a 2-1 league defeat against Royal AM and sought to bounce back against the Soweto giants.

The Buccaneers, however, came out of the blocks with great intent as they probed the United defence.

Ernst Middendorp’s charges did not register a single shot in the first half of the encounter, but goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt was kept busy between the posts.

After making two relatively easy saves in the opening minutes, the German shot-stopper had to be at his best when Tshegofatso Mabasa found some space in the penalty area.

The Bafana Bafana international attempted to drill a shot through the legs of the ‘keeper, but Engelhardt made a textbook save to keep Maritzburg in the match.

As the game edged closer to half-time, Pirates seemed to run out of ideas, with Maritzburg doing enough in defence to keep the scores goalless.

The second half continued to be more attacking pressure from Pirates but no killer instinct in the final third of the pitch.

The match took an interesting turn when Brandon Theron was shown a straight red card after a malicious tackle on Thabang Monare.

However, despite going down to 10 players, Maritzburg held on to frustrate the visitors and secure a crucial point at home.

The draw sees Maritzburg climb up to 11 on the log while Pirates move to sixth place.

The Team of Choice welcomes TS Galaxy to KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday (15:30) for a league clash as Pirates take on Noirs in the second leg on Sunday (17:30).

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Wed 15 Sep 21 18:00 PM (SAST)
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