Absa Premiership

Pirates slip in title race thanks to late CT City equaliser

Benni McCarthy (Gallo Images)
Benni McCarthy (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Craig Martin scored six minutes from time as Cape Town City held log leaders Orlando Pirates to 2-2 draw in a pulsating Absa Premiership clash at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday.

The point means that winning PSL trophy is now out of Pirates' hands as they have a one point lead over Mamelodi Sundowns in the standings but the Soweto giants only have one game remaining while the Brazilians have two.

The game in Cape Town got off to a sensational start in front of capacity crowd when Zukile Kewuti gave the home side the lead after just 18 seconds but Thembinkosi Lorch equalised for the Buccaneers in the 16th minute.

Luvuyo Memela gave Bucs a 2-1 lead early in the second half but Martin made sure the spoils were shared as he headed home close to full-time.

The start of the game was delayed by 15 minutes as plenty of fans were still stuck outside the stadium when the kickoff was supposed to take place.

The massive crowd could not have predicted the dramatic start to the game as Kewuti took advantage of some sloppy play in the visitors defence to steer the ball past Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.

The Soweto team got over the shock pretty quickly as they started to dominate the ball and created numerous half chances.

Pirates were rewarded when some good build up play saw Musa Nytama release Lorch and the forward calmly slotted past City shot-stopper Peter Leeuwenburgh in the 16th minute.

Memela put the Buccaneers ahead five minutes into the second half when he followed up after Leeuwenburgh had saved from Lorch.

Pirates looked set to take maximum points but Martin popped up to header Thato Mokeke's cross past Sandilands to break the Pirates hearts.

The Citizens had a chance to win it when Riyaad Norodien struck a fierce free-kick deep into stoppage time but Sandilands earned his team a point.

Cape Town City for their part stay in fourth place on the PSL table, six points behind Pirates.