Unlucky Usuthu held by Pirates

Unlucky Usuthu held by Pirates
Ovidy Karuru of AmaZulu FC is attacked by Thabo Matlaba of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 game between AmaZulu and Orlando Pirates at King Zwelithini Stadium, Durban on 6 October 2018 © Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Oct 06, 2018. 22:34

AmaZulu FC played to a 1-1 draw with Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership match at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on Saturday night.

As a result, Usuthu remained 16th on the league table, while Bucs also remain second on the standings.

Both teams launched attacks in the opening stages of the game and it was the visitors, who broke the deadlock through Augustine Mulenga.

Thembinkosi Lorch sent Mulenga through on goal and the latter beat AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha to make 1-0 to Pirates in the 13th minute.

The hosts tried to level matters through Marc Van Heerden, who joined Usuthu after he was released Pirates at the end of last season.

The free-kick specialist's effort from a set-piece missed the target without testing Bucs shot-stopper Jackson Mabokgwane just before the half-hour mark.

AmaZulu striker Emiliano Tade's goal-bound shot was blocked by Pirates defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza in the 32nd minute as the hosts looked to level matters.

Pirates took control of the game with the half-time break approaching and in the 37th minute, Xola Mlambo forced Usuthu keeper Mbatha into a fine save.

However, AmaZulu were able to contain Pirates and the score was 1-0 in favour of the visitors at the interval.

The hosts came back rejuvenated following their half-time team talk with coach Cavin Johnson, who has been in charge of the team since August 2017.

It took only three minutes for Tade to make it 1-1 after being set-up Jabulani Ncobeni, who had burst into the box with the Pirates defence exposed.

It was end-to-end stuff as Bonginkosi Ntuli was denied by Mabokgwane and at the other end, Shonga hit the woodwork with Mbatha well-beaten.

Mabokgwane and his counterpart, Mbatha were both very busy in the closing stages of the game as they made crucial saves as the two teams pushed for the winning goal.

Ultimately, the game ended in a 1-1 stalemate following an enthralling encounter between AmaZulu and Pirates.

AmaZulu (0) 1 (Tade 48')
Pirates (1) 1 (Mulenga 13')

AmaZulu: Mbatha, Sikhakhane, Van Heerden, M.Gumede, Ouro-Akoriko, Darpoh, Vilakazi, Karuru (Sithebe 71'), Ncobeni (Cele 78'), Tade, Ntuli (Khenyeza 90').

Pirates: Mabokgwane, Matlaba, Maela, Marcelo, Jele, Nyauza (Thopola 46'), Mlambo, Nyatama, Lorch (Qalinge 81'), Mulenga, Shonga (Maphangule 81').

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