Orlando Pirates 0-0 Golden Arrows: Abafana Bes'thende frustrate Bucs
The Buccaneers could not beat Nkosingiphile Gumede, who had a good game in the Abafana Bes'thende goal

Orlando Pirates and Golden Arrows drew 0-0 in a PSL match which was played at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night.

The draw sees Pirates move up to sixth spot on the league standings, while Arrows remain second on the table.

Bucs went into the match seeking their first league victory since September having lost to Polokwane City at home in their previous competitive match which was a Telkom Knockout Cup quarter-final clash a fortnight ago.

Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic decided to drop Wayne Sandilands, who was replaced by Jackson Mabokgwane in Pirates goal, while Thabo Matlaba and Thamsanqa Gabuza both started after shrugging off their respective injuries.

Knox Mutizwa started upfront for Arrows as a lone striker, while Jabulani Shongwe and Nkanyiso Cele were deployed in central midfield by Clinton Larsen as Abafana Bes'thende looked to end their five-match winless run in the league.

The Buccaneers did most of the attacking in the opening exchanges as Abafana Bes'thende were happy to sit back and launch counter-attacks with Kudakwashe Mahachi playing behind Mutizwa.

The deadlock was nearly broken following a good move involving Pirates duo Thabo Qalinge and Matlaba. Qalinge let the ball run across and Matlaba forced Arrows goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede into a decent save.

Qalinge, who scored the only goal of the match as Bucs beat Arrows in a Telkom Knockout Cup Last 16 match last month, was the hosts' livewire as he kept the Abafana Bes'thende defence very busy with his skill and pace.

The 26-year-old had a chance to make it 1-0 to Pirates after dribbling past several Arrows defenders, but Gumede was alert and he came out to deny Qalinge, who was about to take a shot at goal.

Arrows did threaten with the half-time break fast approaching when Mahachi, who has been linked with a January move to Pirates, made a good run before forcing Mabokgwane into a good save.

Mabokgwane was then called into action by Zolani Nkombela, who pulled the trigger from range and the former made a comfortable save and the score was 0-0 at half-time between Pirates and Arrows.

Micho made the first change of the game a few minutes after the restart. Gabuza, who had a quiet first half, was replaced by diminutive striker Thabiso Kutumela, the 2015/16 National First Division (NFD) Golden Boot winner.

It should have been 1-0 to Pirates after Gumede had denied Musa Nyatama and Justice Chabalala pounced onto the rebound, but somehow the defender missed the target from close range.

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The hosts continued to pile pressure on the Abafana Bes'thende defence and former South African Under-23 international Gumede produced a brilliant save to deny Pirates defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza from close range.

Abafana Bes'thende looked dangerous on the counter-attack and Lerato Lamola nearly gave Arrows the lead in the closing stages of the game. The striker's effort was well saved by Mabokgwane.

Both sides launched late attacks in search of the winning goal, but they could not score and, Pirates, and Arrows drew 0-0 on the night.
 

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