Citizens deal blow to Pirates’ title chances

Vincent Pule of Orlando Pirates evades a challenge from Taariq Fielies of Cape Town City, right, in their drawn Absa Premiership match at Athlone Stadium yesterday.
Vincent Pule of Orlando Pirates evades a challenge from Taariq Fielies of Cape Town City, right, in their drawn Absa Premiership match at Athlone Stadium yesterday.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinus Maritz

Craig Martin scored a late equaliser for Cape Town City as Orlando Pirates' Absa Premiership title hopes were dealt a blow following a 2-2 draw at Athlone Stadium on Saturday.

The Buccaneers are now just a single point ahead of second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns, but have played a game more and could see the Brazilians take over top spot before the final round of matches next weekend.

Pirates fell behind to a Zukile Kewuti goal after only 18 seconds, but within 15 minutes they were on level terms after an equaliser from Thembinkosi Lorch, and early in the second period grabbed the lead through Luvuyo Memela.

But Martin broke the hearts of The Ghost with the equaliser in a magnificent atmosphere as tens of thousands of expectant Pirates fans filled the stands.

Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic went with the same starting XI that did duty in the 1-0 away victory over Maritzburg United 10 days previously.

After a season of tinkering, he has seemingly settled on what he feels is his best side, which did not include midfielder Xola Mlambo, who started from the bench in a match that kicked off 15 minutes late.

City were again without suspended striker Kermit Erasmus, who surely would have relished facing his former employers, but restored left-back Edmilson Dove, winger Gift Links and playmaker Chris David to the starting XI.

  • Hard-to-kill Maritzburg United showed they will fight to the last game to stay in the Absa Premiership as they kept in touch with fellow relegation strugglers Chippa United, Free State Stars and Black Leopards by beating SuperSport United 3-1 at Harry Gwala Stadium yesterday, reports Ofentse
    Ratsie.

It was a perfect start for Maritzburg as Mohau Mokate opened the scoring with just four minutes on the clock.

SuperSport, nowhere to be found in the first half, took advantage of careless defending by Maritzburg as Aubrey Modiba levelled matters in the 47th minute.

The Team of Choice kept pushing forward and Judas Moseamedi put them ahead again in the 73rd, then scored another in the dying minutes.

  •  Other results: Kaizer Chiefs 1 - 1 Free State Stars; Bidvest Wits 3 - 1 Baroka FC; AmaZulu 1 - 1 Black Leopards; Polokwane City 1 - 3 Chippa United; Highlands Park 1 - 0 Bloemfotein Celtic.

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