Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)
Mamelodi Sundowns’ aspirations of lifting the Absa Premiership trophy were dented after being held to a 0-0 draw by an impressive Orlando Pirates side at the Dobsonville Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The two sides managed to settle into the contest fairly quickly with Pirates enjoying large spells of possession without creating any clear cut chances.
Even though it was the Buccaneers’ first competitive game in four months, they managed to easily dust off the cobwebs as they managed to put together some slick interchanges.
Despite some slick passing from both sides they failed to break the deadlock as we headed into half-time all square at 0-0.
Pirates head coach Josef Zinbauer made an early change during the break with Luvuyo Memela replacing Augustine Mulenga.
Both teams picked up early cautions in the second-half with Gabadinho Mhango then Arthur Zwane both going into referee Victor Gomes’ book.
Pirates went agonisingly close to taking the lead in the 57th minute when goalkeeper Dennis Onyango pulled off a fingertip save to turn Fortune Makaringe’s low effort onto the post with the danger then cleared.
Sundowns made their first substitution in the 62nd minute as Andile Jali replaced Lyle Lakay.
Zinnbauer’s side continued to dominate the ball heading into the final 20 minutes but seemed to lack some magic in the final third to cut open the Sundowns defence.
Despite going into the final ten minutes of the encounter with 54% of possession Pirates couldn’t grab an arguably deserved opener as the Sundowns defence held firm.
That’s how the contest ended with both teams happy to share the spoils of an intriguing contest.