AmaZulu, Pirates share spoils

AmaZulu and Orlando Pirates settled for a share of the spoils when they played to a 1-1 draw in an Absa Premiership encounter at the Moses Mabhida stadium on Thursday night.

Ayanda Gcaba opened the scoring for the visitors midway through the second half but Carlington Nyadombo, who captained Usuthu on the night, netted the equaliser a few minutes later.

The first chance fell for the visitors in the fourth minute when Khethokwakhe Masuku’s corner found Lucky Lekgwathi free at the far post, but the skipper directed his header wide.

The Buccaneers continued to miss the target with Andile Jali firing wide in the eighth minute, while Masuku also sent his long range effort to the wrong side of the post a minute later.

Thandani Ntshumayelo made a good run to meet a cross from Kermit Erasmus in the 13th minute, but the diminutive midfielder failed to keep his header down.

Senzo Meyiwa was then forced to make a save at his near post two minutes later to keep out a low effort from Goodman Dlamini, who had made a solo run into the box from the right flank.

Goodman had the beating of Meyiwa eight minutes later after receiving a pass from Bongani Ndulula, only to see his shot coming off the inside off the post and back into play.

The hosts had the next opportunity from a corner in the 42nd minute but defenders Carlington Nyadombo and Tamsanqa Teyise failed to connect with Nkosinathi Mthiyane’s delivery.

The visitors had an opportunity to break the deadlock at the other end just seconds later, but Masuku fired his effort straight at Aubrey Mathibe.

Masuku had the first chance of the second half when a clearance from Teyise fell kindly for him in the 48th minute, but his shot went over the crossbar.

Ayanda Dlamini should have done better when he was released on the right in the 53rd minute but he opted to play a low cross when he could’ve aimed for the target.

Pirates took the lead three minutes later as Gcaba nodded home from close range after rising above his marker to meet a corner from Ngoma.

Usuthu equalised at the other end in the 67th minute with Marc Van Heerden finding Nyadombo with an inswinging freekick, who obliged by placing his header beyond Meyiwa’s reach.

Masuku came close from a freekick in the 71st minute but Mathibe was able to tip it over the crossbar, while Erasmus saw two of his shots blocked four minutes later.

Pirates piled on the pressure in the closing stages but Matlaba misses the target in the 83rd minute and Happy Jele was denied by a save from Mathibe four minutes later, while Gcaba shot over the crossbar in added time.

AmaZulu (0) 1 (Nyadombo 67’)

Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Gcaba 56’)

AmaZulu: Mathibe, Macala, Van Heerden, Teyise (Mwedihanga 57’), Nyadombo, Madondo, Shabalala (Arwuah 63’), Dlamini G, Mthiyane, Dlamini A, Ndulula (Jakob 82’)

Orlando Pirates: Meyiwa, Lekgwathi, Matlaba, Jele, Gcaba, Ngoma, Masuku (Myeni 84’), Manyisa, Jali, Ntshumayelo (Makola 77’), Erasmus (Pelembe 84’)

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