Orlando Pirates failed to collect all three points against AmaZulu tonight, as they could only afford to play to a 1-1 draw at the Moses Mabhida Stadium
Orlando Pirates had a dream start and threatened AmaZulu goals within the first two minutes when Andile Jali won possession on the left hand side of the pitch and entered Usuthu’s box, but his cross was deflected for a corner.
Pirates then took the lead in the fourth minute through Collins Mbesuma who slotted home from Oupa Manyisa’s back pass to the delight of Bucs fans.
The visitors then dominated possession and made it difficult for AmaZulu to play. The Durban side did however, get their first shot at goal just after 20 minutes, but Senzo Meyiwa was equal to the task to parry for a corner.
Usuthu gained confidence and continued to surge forward. They were then awarded with a free-kick outside Pirates box in the 34th minute, but Thamsanqa Teyise failed to hit the target from the resultant free-kick.
The home side looked vulnerable at the back and Pirates used the pace of Daine Klate and Kethokwakhe Masuku to penetrate their defence. Klate dribbled past two defenders towards the break, but the Usuthu defence recovered well to block his cross with Mbesuma in a very good position.
Captain Lucky Lekgwathi had to put his body on the line to block Ayanda Dlamini’s bicycle-kick on the stroke of halftime, as Usuthu looked for that important goal, but it was Bucs who took the 1-0 lead to the dressing room.
Pirates started the second half well and won the free-kick on the right hand side of AmaZulu box in the 47th minute, and Daine Klate forced Usuthu keeper Tapuwa Kapini to a brilliant save for a corner.
Masuku should have doubled the lead two minutes later, but the Pirates winger lacked composure and let his shot sail over the bar.
Goodman Dlamini nearly equalized for the host in the 54th minute when he found himself in Pirates’ box, but he couldn’t connect with the ball.
AmaZulu then put Pirates under a lot of pressure, dominating possession inside the final third, and were finally rewarded for their efforts when Goodman Dlamini shot from a rebound to make it 1-1 in the 59th minute.
Pirates then came to the party again on the hour mark and Mbesuma did well to shield a few Usuthu defenders, but his well taken shot was brilliantly saved by Kapini.
Substitute Takesure Chinyama nearly restored Pirates lead in the 76th minute, but his powerful header lacked direction and went straight into Kapini’s hands.
Both teams continued to attack each other, but no clear-cut chances were created. AmaZulu nearly stole all three points in the end, as substitute Joseph Malongoane’s cross was parried by Senzo Meyiwa with Pirates defence clearly out of position.
However, it was too little too late for any of the two sides to snatch a winner, as the game ended 1-1 to the frustration of Bucs fans, who are yet to witness their first win in five games.