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Orlando Pirates v TS Galaxy Match Report, 26/01/2021

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B. Sam (11)
M. Phohlongo (20)
Orlando Stadium
Orlando Pirates 1-1 TS Galaxy: Wasteful Bucs drop points ahead of Soweto Derby
16:54 GMT 26/01/2021
Ben Motshwari, Orlando Pirates & Wayde Lekay, TS Galaxy, January 2021
The Buccaneers failed to take their chances in their clash with the Rockets and they will be looking to return to winning ways against Kaizer Chiefs

Orlando Pirates let a lead slip to draw 1-1 with TS Galaxy in a PSL match which was played at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Bongani Sam's first-ever goal for Bucs handed the Soweto giants the lead, but Masilake Phohlongo levelled matters for the Rockets. 

The Buccaneers were keen to register their second successive victory in the league having edged out Maritzburg United 1-0 away over the weekend. 

Ben Motshwari made his return to the starting line-up as coach Josef Zinnbauer made one change to the team which faced Maritzburg with Vincent Pule being dropped to the bench.

On the other hand, the Rockets were hoping to win two matches in a row having thrashed Maritzburg 3-0 away last week.

Former Pirates coach Owen Da Gama made one change to the team which took on Maritzburg as he handed Phohlongo his official debut for the Rockets. 

Bucs saw most of the ball in the opening stages with Fortune Makaringe making dangerous runs from midfield and he nearly scored when his shot went inches wide of the target.

The skilful playmaker was involved when the home side broke the deadlock 11 minutes into the game following a brilliant team move by Zinnbauer's side.

Makaringe received a pass from Thembinkosi Lorch, before setting up Sam, who fired past Marlon Heugh in the Galaxy goal-posts to make it 1-0 to Pirates.

The Rockets then took control of the match and they began testing Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori, who made two good saves to deny Mxolisi Macuphu and Bathusi Aubaas.

However, Ghana's finest goalkeeper Ofori was beaten in the 20th minute when Phohlongo headed home Luckyboy Mokoena's cross to make it 1-1 with the Bucs defence exposed.

Pirates tried to respond with a goal, but Heugh produced two fines saves to deny Deon Hotto and Thulani Hlatshwayo to ensure that the first-half ended with the two teams locked at 1-1.

Pule was introduced by Zinnbauer prior to the start of the second-half - replacing an ineffective Azola Tshobeni as the home side looked to restore their lead.

Sam was Pirates' most dangerous player and he beat his marker before forcing Heugh into a magnificent save following an overlapping run by the South Africa under-23 international.

The left-sided player then found Hotto with a pinpoint cross, but the latter placed his effort over the crossbar from close range with the Galaxy defence caught ball watching.

With his side struggling in front of goal, Zinnbauer introduced striker Jean-Marc Makusu with 20 minutes left as the hosts looked to snatch a late winning goal. 

Lorch's long-range shot narrowly missed the target, before Makaringe's cross which was meant for Makusu was parried away by Heugh in the latter stages of the game.

Ultimately, the match ended in a 1-1 draw and the result saw Pirates remain fifth on the league standings, while Galaxy moved up to 12th spot. 

Pirates will now take on their archrivals Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby clash on Saturday, while Galaxy are set to face Black Leopards on the same day.