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Blunt Orlando Pirates fail to put Mamelodi Sundowns to the sword in MTN8 clash

19:30 GMT+4 01/10/2022
Kermit Erasmus, Orlando Pirates & Grant Kekana, Mamelodi Sundowns, October 2022
Orlando Pirates were held to a 0-0 draw by Mamelodi Sundowns in an MTN8 semi-final first-leg match on Saturday afternoon.
  • Pirates failed to take their chances in a game they controlled
  • Ndlondlo and Erasmus played well in their first appearances
  • Gauteng giants will now meet in second-leg clash in Pretoria

WHAT HAPPENED? Pirates were left to rue their missed chances at Orlando Stadium was a match they were frustrated by Ronwen Williams' goalkeeping heroics. The Bafana Bafana captain pulled off saves throughout the game to keep Pirates at bay. Monnapule Saleng, who was handed his first start of the season, was unlucky not to score when his effort beat Williams, but the crossbar came to Masandawana's rescue, and ultimately, the two Gauteng giants shared the spoils with the defending champions failing to register a single shot on target on the day.

ALL EYES ON: Pirates' PSL transfer deadline day signings Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo and Kermit Erasmus both featured in this titanic clash. Man of the Match Ndlondlo produced an eye-catching performance in midfield after being handed a starting role.

On the other hand, Erasmus came on as a substitute, making his second debut for Pirates against his former club just after the hour-mark. The diminutive striker made promising runs with the ball which unsettled the Downs defence and he won several free-kicks in the visitors' half before the Gqeberha-born player was denied by his homeboy Williams in what would have been a late winning goal for Bucs.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: No away goal for Sundowns who were hoping to score in Soweto, but they will have a home ground advantage when they host Pirates in the second-leg later this month. For Pirates, any scoring draw in the return leg would see them progress to the final - winning the tie on the away goals rule.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR BOTH TEAMS? Pirates will now square off with Sekhukhune United in a PSL match in Polokwane on Tuesday, while Sundowns are scheduled to face Seychelles' La Passe in a Caf Champions League match away on Saturday. The MTN8 semi-final second-leg encounter will take place on October 22 as Sundowns host Pirates in Pretoria.