AmaZulu FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Orlando Pirates played to a 1-1 draw in the DStv Premiership match at the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium on Saturday night.
Former Bucs striker Lehlohonolo Majoro scored for Usuthu as they started the new 2020/21 season with a draw at home.
The Buccaneers were under pressure in the early exchanges with Usuthu pressing the visitors in the first 15 minutes of the match.
However, Pirates were awarded a penalty after Sibusiso Mabiliso was adjudged to have fouled Siphesihle Ndlovu in the box.
Frank Mhango then stepped up and beat AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha from the spot-kick to make it 1-0 to Pirates 18 minutes into the game.
Usuthu continued to attack and they were also awarded a penalty after Luvuyo Memela was fouled by his former Pirates teammate Fortune Makaringe in the box.
Pirates keeper Wayne Sandilands denied Lehlohonolo Majoro from the spot-kick, but the AmaZulu striker fired home from the rebound to make it 1-1 in the 33rd minute
Both teams launched attacks with the half-time break fast approaching and the hosts had an opportunity to take the lead in first-half stoppage time.
Sandilands failed to handle a long ball from Siyethemba Sithebe, but he reacted quickly and denied Andre De Jong with a great save and the score was 1-1 at the interval.
The Pirates shot-stopper was the busier of the two keepers after the restart as he made a great save from Majoro’s lobbed effort four minutes into the second-half.
Sandilands then pulled off a fantastic save from Majoro’s dangerous curling effort just before the hour-mark as Usuthu applied pressure on the Buccaneers.
Mbatha was finally tested seven minutes after the hour-mark and he made a comfortable save from Makaringe’s attempt as Pirates looked to restore their lead.
It was end-to-end stuff in the closing stages of the match as Vincent Pule’s backheel effort was well-saved by AmaZulu captain Mbatha.
Sandilands then made a great save to deny Memela from close range in stoppage time and ultimately, the match ended in a 1-1 draw with AmaZulu and Pirates sharing the spoils.
AmaZulu (1) 1 (Majoro 33′)
Pirates (1) 1 (Mhango 18′)
AmaZulu: Mbatha, Gumede, Mabiliso, Xoki, Booysen, Sithebe, Ncube (Makhaula 82′), Chawaphiwa (Madela 77′), Memela, De Jong (Magubane 53′), Majoro.
Pirates: Sandilands, Hlatshwayo, Nyauza, Jooste, Maela, Ndlovu (Lorch 46′), Motshwari, Makaringe (Dlamini 80′) Hotto (Pule 46′), Dzvukamanja (Mntambo 80′), Mhango (Lepasa 87′).