Orlando Pirates 1-1 Polokwane City: Bucs fight back to hold Rise and Shine
Dominic Chungwa netted on debut for Rise and Shine, while Lyle Foster scored his first goal for the Buccaneers

Orlando Pirates held Polokwane City to a 1-1 draw in a PSL match which was played at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

The Soweto giants were oozing with confidence following their 3-1 win over Mamelodi Sundowns in their previous league game, and Milutin Sredojevic decided to name an unchanged starting line-up.

The Serbian tactician deployed a 4-3-3 formation with Justin Shonga, Thabiso Kutumela and Luvuyo Memela starting upfront, with Mpho Makola, who netted against Sundowns, also kept his place in central midfield.

Rise and Shine were eager to bounce back to winning ways after succumbing to a 2-1 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium last weekend. Bernard Molekwa handed Zimbabwean marksman Dominic Chungwa his debut against Bucs.

The last five league games between Pirates and Polokwane had ended in draws, and the Soweto giants were hoping to avenge their defeat to the Limpopo side in the Telkom Knockout Cup game which was played at the same venue last year.

Although, the hosts threatened first through Shonga, whose effort was well saved by Polokwane goalkeeper George Chigova in the opening stages, the visitors, who were playing enterprising football, looked dangerous every time they pushed forward.

Rise and Shine deservedly broke the deadlock through Chungwa, who got a dream debut goal after the Pirates defence was caught ball watching. The striker pounced inside the box and fired home to make it 1-0 from Jabulani Malukeke's corner-kick.

Molekwa's charges were hungry for more goals and Bucs shot-stopper Jackson Mabokgwane made good saves to deny Rodney Ramagalela, Walter Musona and Thabiso Semenya, who all tried to beat the diminutive keeper from range.

With the half-time break fast approaching, Pirates, who have scored most of their goals between the half-hour mark and 45th minute this season, upped the tempo and Chigova had to produce a fine save to deny Luvuyo Memela at the near-post.

Kutumela should have levelled matters for the four-time PSL champions after being sent through on goal just before the break, but the striker ballooned his effort over the crossbar with Chigova rooted to the ground.

Polokwane were leading 1-0 at the interval thanks to the 2017 Zimbabwean Premier Soccer League (ZPSL) Golden Boot winner Chungwa's well taken goal.

Pirates had failed to score a goal at home in two league games this season and Sredojevic made his first change a few minutes after the restart - introducing Thembinkosi Lorch for ineffective Kutumela as the hosts looked to restore parity.

The visitors were happy to sit back and protect their slender lead in the second half with the Buccaneers doing most of the attacking. But Sredojevic's charges were forced to try their luck from range as the Rise and Shine defence looked impenetrable.

Lorch, who tends to cut inside and unleash powerful shots, made a good run beating two defenders, before pulling the trigger from range, but his effort failed to trouble Chigova as the away side continued to frustrate Pirates.

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However, the hosts finally made a breakthrough in the latter stages of the game when second half substitute Lyle Foster pounced after the Polokwane defence had failed to clear their lines and the teenager netted his first competitive goal to make it 1-1.

Sredojevic's men then pushed for the winning goal, but the away side stood firm at the back in the dying minutes of the game and ultimately, Pirates and Polokwane settled for a 1-1 draw on the night.

Despite the draw, Bucs climb up to fifth spot on the league standings, while Rise and Shine remain 12th on the table.

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