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Stellenbosch v Orlando Pirates Match Report, 11/05/2021

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Danie Craven Stadium
Stellenbosch FC 0-0 Orlando Pirates: Bucs' Caf Champions League qualification at risk
15:53 BST 11/05/2021
Marc Van Heerden, Stellenbosch FC & Deon Hotto, Orlando Pirates, May 2021
The Buccaneers missed an opportunity to climb up to third place on the standings as they were frustrated by Stellies in a game of two halves

Orlando Pirates' inconsistency in the PSL continued on Tuesday afternoon as they drew 0-0 with a resilient Stellenbosch FC side at Danie Craven Stadium.

Stellies were desperate for a victory as they were winless in eight matches in the league having suffered a 1-0 loss to Chippa United away on May 1.

Coach Steve Barker recalled the experienced duo of Granwald Scott and Lee Langeveldt, and Stellies top scorer Stanley Dimgba to the starting line-up.

On the other hand, Bucs were looking to make it two wins in a row in the league after securing a convincing 3-0 victory over Black Leopards at home on May 6.

Barker's counterpart, Josef Zinnabuer, named one change to the team which faced Leopards as Frank Mhango replaced Tshegofatso Mabasa in the starting line-up.

Stellenbosch started the match brightly with Junior Mendieta looking lively for the hosts while operating as a playmaker, and Stellies were awarded a free-kick in a promising area after the Argentine was fouled. 

Jayden Adams' attempt from the resultant set-piece was blocked by Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands and Nathan Sinkala hit the upright from the rebound with the Bucs defence caught ball watching.

Pirates were then caught napping at the back when Scott played a long ball behind the visitors' defence for Ashley du Preez, but Abel Mabaso made a brilliant last-ditch challenge to deny the attacker a chance to shoot.

The hosts continued to create chances as Adams' thunderous shot was tipped over the crossbar by Sandilands, before Du Preez missed a sitter when he failed to direct Dimgba's pass into an empty net.

The score was 0-0 at half-time and Pirates came back rejuvenated following their team talk with Zinnbauer at the break, and they hit the crossbar through Kabelo Dlamini's curling-taken free-kick with Langeveldt well-beaten.

The visitors continued to threaten from set-pieces as Mhango's dipping effort from a free-kick was brilliantly saved by Langeveldt with the Buccaneers looking to break the deadlock.

Langeveldt was the busier of the two keepers in the second half and he pulled off a fine low save to deny Vincent Pule, who had been introduced along with Fortune Makaringe and Ben Motshwari.

The 34-year-old Langeveldt's saves ensured that the game ended in a 0-0 draw and the result saw Stellenbosch remain 12th on the league standings and they will face Swallows FC next week Tuesday.

While Pirates' hopes of qualifying for next season's Caf Champions League by finishing in the top two positions in the PSL took a knock as they remained fourth on the standings - eight points behind second-placed AmaZulu FC, but Bucs have a game in hand.

Pirates have now turned their attention to their Caf Confederation Cup quarter-final first-leg game against Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca on Sunday.