A wounded Orlando Pirates went to the Athlone Stadium on Tuesday evening looking to upset Ajax Cape Town in their own backyard in an Absa Premiership clash. The match lived up to its ‘fast-paced’ reputation that these two sides are known for when they lock horns. It was the home side that saw most of the ball in the opening minutes of the game and almost had something to show for it in the 23rd minute when Nathan Paulse’s header almost caught Senzo Meyiwa off-guard, but the Pirates shot- stopper made the save look easy.
The combination of Khethokwakhe Masuku, Daine Klate and Kermit Erasmus was dangerous heading towards Ajax’s goal as was the combination of Keegan Dolly, Nathan Paulse and Thamsanqa Sangweni heading in the opposite direction. Both team continued to search for an opener but the first half ended with both teams goalless.
A better looking Buccaneers almost opened the scoring in the 48th minute when Thabo Matlaba’s deflected shot almost got the better of Anssi Jaakkola. In the 67th minute substitute Helder Pelembe’s long range shot was well saved by Jaakkola. The home side almost took the lead in the 79th minute when a beautiful whipped-in cross could not be converted by Ernesto who miscued his shot that could have possibly handed Ian Taylor’s man the three points.
In the 85th minute Klate almost found the back of the net but his attempt was spectacularly cleared off the line by the Ajax defence. In the end both teams had to settle for a point. This was the first scoreless draw between the two sides since 2007. The result means Pirates will remain in 7th spot on the log while the Urban Warriors stay 10th.