Highlands off the bottom after draw with Bucs

Highlands off the bottom after draw with Bucs
Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates challenges Peter Shalulile of Highlands Park during the Absa Premiership match between Highlands Park and Orlando Pirates on 15 April 2017 at Makhulong Stadium ©Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday Apr 15, 2017. 22:12

Highlands Park have risen off the foot of the Absa Premiership table thanks to a 0-0 draw with Orlando Pirates at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday night.

The point garnered sees the Lions of the North leapfrog Baroka FC (on goal difference) into 15th place. The Buccaneers remain in ninth spot on the log.

Highlands started the match strongly and forced Pirates onto the back foot from early on. In the 17th minute they created a fine chance when Peter Shalulile sprung the offside trap, but he blazed his shot high and wide.

The Soweto side responded well to the early pressure and began creating chances of their own: in the 18th minute Issa Sarr pulled a shot narrowly wide, while just past the midway point of the first half Oupa Manyisa was denied at close range by Tapuwa Kapini.

Highlands almost broke the deadlock in injury time before the interval, with Franklin Cale getting the better of Siyabonga Mpontshane with a shot direct from a free kick, only to see the ball rebound off the crossbar.

Pirates created the first chances of the second half, with Highlands’ goalkeeper forced into two saves in quick succession to deny Abbubaker Mobara and Mpho Makola a few minutes after the restart.

Just a couple of minutes before the hour mark Cale threatened again for the hosts, as he got on the end of a fine cross from Siyabonga Nhlapo but was unable to keep his diving header down.

The Buccaneers looked the more adventurous and dangerous in attack in the final phase of the match, but they were unable to really threaten Kapini’s goal, leaving the game to finish all square.

Highlands Park 0
Orlando Pirates 0

Highlands: Kapini, Nhlapo, Ngalo, Mvala, Oluwafemi, Mbatha (Zwane 73’), Khuboni, Katjiukua, Cale, Moriri (Koena 90+2’), Shalulile (Fikru 76’)

Pirates: Mpontshane, Nyauza, Gcaba, Jele, Matlaba, Sarr, Mobara (Wome 69’), Makola, Manyisa, Lorch (Nkosi 80’), Ndoro (Memela 83’)

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