Orlando Pirates held Silver Stars to a goalless draw in their Castle Premiership game at Royal Bafokeng Stadium yesterday.
The game started at a slow pace. Pirates, the visitors, settled first and took the initiative. Jabu Mahlangu sent a great pass into the path of Benedict Vilakazi, who with only goalkeeper Tapua Kapini to beat, shot at the keeper who saved in the third minute.
Ten minutes later, Koketso Mmotong made a tantalising run into Pirates' danger area and fed Jomo Motlhaping, whose goal-bound header was bundled out by Pirates' defence. Stars settled and started pushing forward with Motlhaping overlapping from right-back. But the hosts lacked composure and cohesion inside the Pirates' penalty area.
Pirates launched their own offensive with the combination of Mahlangu and Paulos Masehe often involved. But strikers Rudzani Ramudzuli and Bennet Tshenene could not convert their chances.
The oppressive Phokeng heat forced the temporary stoppage of the match as the referee gave players time for a drink.
The game was lively in the second stanza with both teams desperate to get on the score sheet.
Mmotong created opportunities for Stars, and one of them almost resulted in a goal when Francis Chansa fumbled an attempt. He needed two attempts to clear the danger. Pirates did not take advantage of their chances.
Stars missed a great opportunity to break the deadlock, but Mmotong completely missed the ball after a cross from Zimbabwean Joel Luphala.
The home side dominated play in the second half, but their fans must have been bighting their nails when Vilakazi went down in the box in the dying moments. But the referee did not buy it.