Orlando Pirates 1-1 SuperSport United: Bucs fight back to hold Matsatsantsa in Soweto
Thabo Mnyamane opened the scoring for Matsatsantsa, but Thembinkosi Lorch restored parity for the Buccaneers

Orlando Pirates came back to hold SuperSport United to 1-1 in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) game which was played at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday night.

The draw sees Bucs stay 10th on the league standings with 23 points from 20 matches, while Matsatsantsa remain third on the table with 37 points from 20 games.

Kjell Jonevret, the Pirates head coach, who had masterminded a 1-1 draw with Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby clash over the weekend, named an unchanged starting line-up.

In Matsatsantsa, Bucs were taking on an in-form side that was enjoying an 18-match unbeaten run in the league, but they had been held to goalless draw by Ajax Cape Town in their previous game.

The home side were forced to make an early change nine minutes into the second-half when Ntsikelelo Nyauza went down clutching his hamstring and he was replaced by Thabo Matlaba at right-back.

Thamsanqa Gabuza was looking lively for Pirates in the early stages of the game, but he failed to punish the SuperSport defence when he fired straight at goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse from a one-on-one situation.

But the two teams were sharing the possession evenly and a quick move by Matsatsantsa in the 19th minute led to Thabo Mnyamane pulling the trigger from the edge of the Pirates box and his powerful shot narrowly missed the target.

With the half-time break fast approaching, Pirates forward Wome, who is on-loan from SuperSport, tested the waters with a shot from range and Pieterse was alert as he denied Togolese attacker.

SuperSport nearly took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Kingston Nkhatha turned brilliantly and fired inches wide of the target with Pirates keeper Brighton Mhlongo rooted to the ground.

The score was 0-0 at the interval following a first-half of few chances. The Buccaneers needed to find a way to penetrate the Matsatsantsa defence and find the back of the net in the second-half.

The home side looked lively after the restart applying pressure on the Matsatsantsa defence, but Matlaba and Gabuza were wasteful in front of goal and Bucs were made to rue their missed chances.

It was against the run of play that Matsatsantsa took the lead through Thabo Mnyamane in the 55th minute. The left-footed forward controlled Brockie's cross, before firing home with his right foot to make it 1-0 to SuperSport.

Bucs then took control of the game with Lorch making excellent runs upfront for the Buccaneers. But the home side's finishing was once again poor, with Matlaba missing the target four minutes after the hour-mark.

However, in-form winger Lorch, who had missed a good chance in the 73rd minute, made amends three minutes later when he made a late run into the box and fired home Matlaba's cross to make it 1-1.

Pirates grew in confidence with as the game went making good runs near the SuperSport box. However, the visitors defence contained Bucs and ultimately, the two sides settled for a 1-1 stalemate on the night.

As a result Bucs are now winless in 11 league matches - having recorded four straight draws, while Matsatsantsa are now unbeaten in 19 league matches.

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