Minnows Marumo Gallants did well to earn a point from their DStv Premiership game against coachless Orlando Pirates in Polokwane on Tuesday.
POLOKWANE – Orlando Pirates frustrating start to the new season continued as they were held to a goalless draw by Marumo Gallants at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
The first half was boring to say the least as neither side really managed to create clear cut opportunities nor challenge the opposition goalkeeper.
Experienced Gallants keeper Washington Arubi did manage to do well in the second minute as he showed his awareness by preventing a Dean Hotto pass from reaching its target, namely Gabadinho Mhango. Had the Zimbabwean not acted quickly, it’s likely that Mhango would have had a good opportunity to give his side the lead.
When Pirates got themselves potential opportunities in the first half, they simply blew it. That was seen as Nkanyiso Zungu struck an effort wide from just outside the box.
Out of form Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori does not look to have yet regained his confidence as he opted to parry a Thabo Mnyamane cross which could have been punished by conceding a goal had the former had more of his team-mates nearby in the Pirates danger area.
Pirates showed their intent to improve their attacking output in the second half as they withdrew Mhango and replaced him with Terrence Dzvukamanja.
The Sea Robbers were nearly dealt a blow in the 65th minute as Gallants’ Celimpilo Ngema hit the post after a corner found itself towards him.
Pirates started to up the ante in the latter stages of the game when Dzvukamanja and Hotto combined in the 77th minute but Gallants keeper Arubi came off his line to avert the danger.
The Pirates attacking duo exploited a defensive lapse in concentration from their opponents and Gallants can count themselves lucky that the rebound did not fall into the path of an opposition player after Arubi came off his line.
Neither side did enough to show that they deserved the win and in the end, the score was a fair reflection of what transpired in the game.
Gallants will be the happier side with the outcome as the result earned the newly formed club their first-ever top-flight points.
Pirates will next play against Soweto rivals Maroka Swallows at the Orlando Stadium after the international break while Gallants next test will be a first leg CAF Confederation Cup First Preliminary round clash against Equatorial Guinea based club Futuro on Friday, September 10.