Pirates held by Arrows

Thabo Qalinge of Orlando Pirates tackled by Limbikani Mzava and Nkanyiso Cele of Golden Arrows during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Orlando Pirates and Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium, Soweto South Africa on 21 November 2017.
Thabo Qalinge of Orlando Pirates tackled by Limbikani Mzava and Nkanyiso Cele of Golden Arrows during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Orlando Pirates and Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium, Soweto South Africa on 21 November 2017.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede proved the outstanding performer as he kept Orlando Pirates at bay and helped Lamontville Golden arrows to a valuable away point in a 0-0 draw at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night.

The 27-year-old keeper made several keep stops in both halves to keep Arrows right up among the front runners, even thought they have not won a league game since September and gone six games now in the Premier Soccer League without success.

Pirates are also still very much in the running but will see the draw as an opportunity misses as they had the bulk of possession but again failed to take their chances – or in this case were denied by Gumede.

Pirates have scored a paltry eighty goals in their 11 league games this season.

Their first shot on the goal was a rasping effort by Thabo Matlaba, who so often hits well wide of goal but when he does find the target is almost unstoppable.

But Gumede, who has taken over this season as the undisputed first choice at Arrows, made a brilliant stop in the 12th minute.

He was called on again some 15 minutes later when Thabo Qalinge dribbled his way through the visiting defence but then tried to slide the ball into the back.

Gumede was quickly off his line to cut the angle and get his feet in the way for another vital save.

Pirates dominated possession and moved the ball around but Arrows kept strict defensive lines to emphasis how well drilled they are under coach Clinton Larsen.

They were not effective early on with breakaway chances but just past the half hour mark Kudakwashe Mahachi sped away with pace, got the better of Justice Chabalalala but then could not deliver a telling ball square as two team mates waited to finish the chances.

Pirates goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane, in for the injured Wayne Sandilands, only had to make his first save three minutes before half time to deny a long range speculative drive from Zolani Nkombelo, which dipped in the air and was on target.

A horror miss from Justice Chabalala just past the hour mark emphasised the work that Pirates need to do in learning to convert their chances.

Soon after Gumede made a fortuitous save from Musa Nyatama, with his positioning counting in his favour.

But while Pirates complained about their opponents’ “parking the bus”, the bottom line remains that Bucs still do not know how to find the net.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X