Orlando Pirates 1-1 Platinum Stars: Dikwena frustrate wasteful Bucs
Bucs captain Thabo Matlaba broked the deadlock, but Bonginkosi Ntuli restored parity for Dikwena on the night

Orlando Pirates and Platinum Stars drew 1-1 in a PSL match which was played at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday night.

Despite the draw, Bucs move up to third spot on the league standings, while Dikwena remain 16th on the table.

Pirates went into the match having drawn 2-2 with Polokwane City in their previous league game two weeks ago and Bucs coach Milutin Sredojevic made only one change to the starting line-up that faced Rise and Shine at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Lehlohonolo Mtshali, who was making his PSL debut replaced fellow defender Mthokozisi Dube in the starting line-up, while Thamsanqa Gabuza started upfront as he looked to continue his scoring form after netting a brace against Polokwane.

Stars were hoping to record their first league win of the season after losing 1-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns at home in their previous match a fortnight ago. Dikwena coach Roger De Sa named experienced duo Robert Ng'ambi and Bonginkosi Ntuli in the starting line-up.

The Buccaneers were the better side in the opening stages of the match and they were able to test Dino Visser, who was making his making his PSL debut for the visitors having replaced Mbongeni Mzimela in Stars goal.

The shot-stopper punched away Innocent Maela's dangerous curling cross, before pulling off a comfortable save from Mpho Makola's long range attempt, while Gabuza fired over the crossbar from close range as Bucs pressed Dikwena.

Former South Africa youth international Mtshali looked solid at the back for the Buccaneers - man-making Stars' dangerman Ntuli, who is on another season-long loan deal from Sundowns after

Dikwena extended the agreement between the two clubs a few months ago.
 
The Stars defence which were was led by Namibian international Willem Mwandihanga was able to contain Bucs attackers and the hosts were forced to try their luck from range with the half-time break fast approaching.

Thabo Matlaba found some space inside the box and he unleashed a shot which lacked power, and it was easily saved by Visser, who ensured that the first-half which was slightly dominated by Pirates ended goalless.

However, Matlaba made amends just a minute into the second half as he beat the former Bloemfontein Celtic shot-stopper with a thunderous shot to make it 1-0 to Pirates much to the delight of the home crowd inside the iconic FNB Stadium.

Almost immediately at the other end, Ntuli silenced the Pirates fans as he fired past Wayne Sandilands from close range to make it 1-1 after receiving a through pass from Stars captain Vuyo Mere.

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Justin Shonga, who recently joined the Buccaneers from Zambian Super League outfit Nkwazi FC, was introduced by Micho as the hosts looked to restore their lead which last for only three minutes.

Pressure mounted on the Dikwena defence, but Visser was able to keep the hosts at bay. The 28-year-old saved Gabuza's dangerous cross with Shonga ready to pounce, while Makola's effort was also gathered by the shot-stopper.

Stars stood firm at the back in the late stages of the encounter and the match ended in a 1-1 stalemate with Pirates left to rue their missed chances.

 

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