Orlando Pirates Blow Second Chance To Top Table

EWN

Orlando Pirates squandered a second chance within four days to top the South African Premiership when they surrendered the lead in a 1-1 draw at lowly AmaZulu on Saturday.

The Soweto Buccaneers were held 0-0 at home three days ago by Golden Arrows to lie second, one point behind 2016/2017 champions Wits.

While the point against AmaZulu brought them level on 16 with the Johannesburg outfit, Wits have a far superior goal difference.

Zambian Augustine Mulenga put Pirates ahead on 14 minutes in Indian Ocean port city Durban and Argentine Emiliano Tade levelled after 49 minutes of a lively match.

Serbia-born Pirates coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic said his team had “absolute control” of the opening 45 minutes and should have been further ahead by the break.

“In the second half, the teams resembled two boxers who had dropped their guards and were trading punches at will,” said the former Uganda coach.

Sredojevic had an equally colourful description for the major failing of all 16 Premiership clubs this season — clinical finishing.

“We are very good at brewing tea, but do not know how to add the sugar,” said the 49-year-old coach, referring to a number of wasted chances by both sides.

AmaZulu remained bottom with three points after being deducted six by FIFA last week for not honouring the contract of a former player.

In another match at a Durban venue, third-place Kaizer Chiefs surprisingly fell 1-0 to Polokwane City and lost for the first time in five league outings.

Vusimuzi Mngomezulu unleashed an unstoppable shot from outside the box into the roof of the net on the stroke of half-time to settle the outcome and lift Polokwane to fifth.

The match was staged behind closed doors as part of the punishment meted to Chiefs after their supporters caused extensive damage to a stadium following a cup loss last season.

Financially-troubled Bloemfontein Celtic, for sale but struggling to find a buyer, went down 2-0 away to Free State Stars in central town Bethlehem.

Harris Tchilimbou from Congo Brazzaville broke the deadlock on 38 minutes and a Sinethemba Jantjie cross-cum-shot doubled the lead just before the hour.

After winning their first four Premiership matches this season, fourth-place Celtic have now gone four without a victory.

Promoted Highlands Park rose to seventh by defeating Chippa United 2-1 near Johannesburg thanks to goals from Mothobi Mvala and Lindokhule Mbatha.