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Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns played out a disappointing goalless draw in their Premiership match at Coca-Cola Park on Wednesday.

The first half was a dreary affair, with very few efforts on goal. Sundowns played a strangely defensive game, deliberately sitting deep in defence and allowing Pirates to have all the possession they liked, though the Buccaneers rarely posed much of a threat going forward.

Perhaps the biggest talking point of the first half was a blatant kick from Sundowns’ James Mayinga on Happy Jele. The former Moroka Swallows left-back was unimpressed with a rash challenge from Jele and lashed out in response.

It was really a red card offence but the match officials failed to spot it. Perhaps the best effort on goal in the first half came from Teko Modise, the Pirates No.11 whipping a free kick just over Brian Baloyi’s crossbar.

The Sundowns goalkeeper made two further saves just before the break, though both were pretty straightforward. The match continued to underwhelm until Pirates introduced Gert Schalkwyk and Sundowns threw on Mabhuti Khenyeza to partner Katlego Mphela up front.

The substitutes started to bring the game to life but on 70 minutes. Mere brought down Mlungisi Gumbi with a crude challenge and was shown a red card. From them on Sundowns simply sat back in defence, determined to hold out for the draw.

Pirates were unable to find a way through the Brazilians back line and Baloyi had only one notable save to make, punching away Joseph Kamwendo’s injury time shot that looked destined for the top corner.

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