Orlando Pirates 1-1 Baroka FC: Bucs strike late to avoid first first defeat of the season
Ananias Gebhardt of Baroka FC Siphesihle Ndlovu of Orlando Pirates
The Limpopo side paid the price for not taking a succession of chances which they had to increase their advantage in the second half

Orlando Pirates equalised in the 92nd minute to earn a 1-1 draw with Baroka FC in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) encounter at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors had looked set to claim a first-ever win over Pirates after Ananias Gebhardt had given them the lead in the 46th minute. But the Buccaneers, who were off their best throughout the game, managed to salvage a point through a late goal from substitute Tshegofatso Mabasa – his second goal off the bench in a week.

The game got off to a rather lethargic start - despite the home side enjoying the better of ball possession, they lacked the spark and imagination to break down the opposition defence.

Both keepers had little work to do in the opening minutes and it took until the 23rd minute for the first chance to arrive as Thamsanqa Masiya fired in a low drive from 25-yards out which was comfortably saved by Richard Ofori in goal for Bucs.

Finally the Sea Robbers, who had five changes to their starting XI from the previous match, had a chance of their own, on 30 minutes -  but there were no celebrations as Zakhele Lepasa fired into the side-netting.

Pirates were having some joy down the left flank through Paseka Mako, while in the 44th minute it was Siphesihle Ndlovu who popped up in that position to deliver a cross, which Lepasa looked set to score from with a header, only for Baroka keeper Oscarine Masuluke to make a brilliant reflex save.

Going into the break it had looked as if Bucs were building towards a goal.

So it was against the run of play that the Limpopo side took the lead a minute after the interval, and a gift of a goal it was as Ofori dropped a routine free-kick crossed into the box by Nhlanhla Mgaga, the ball falling kindly for Gebhardt to scramble the ball home from close range.

Five minutes later some sloppy play by Pirates again nearly proved costly as Kgodiso Monama struck a vicious shot from 25-yards out which hit the upright.

More opportunities followed for the visitors, including one for Phelelani Shozi, but he completely missed the ball while trying to convert a cross just six metres out from goal in the 58th minute.

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Monama also fired a shot over the bar, before Pirates has some chances of their own midway through the second half as Lepasa had a shot blocked and Mabasa went close with a shot into the side-netting.

Bucs continued to huff and puff in search of an equaliser, but they were struggling to break down the Baroka defence.

But two minutes into injury time and the Sea Robbers snatched a point when Wayde Jooste’s long ball to the back post located Deon Hotto, who squared the ball for Mabasa to tap home from close range.