Absa Premiership match report Orlando Pirates v Baroka 22 January 2019
Posted: 22 January 2019 Time: 17:33
Orlando Pirates’ title charge took a slight dent after playing to a 1-1 draw with Baroka in the Absa Premiership on Tuesday night.
Milutin Sredojevic made five changes from their 4-2 win over Chippa United the last time out in the league, with goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane, Mthokozisi Dube, Ben Motshwari, Linda Mntambo and Paseka Mako all getting rare starts.
Meanwhile, Bakgaga were desperate for points as they came to the game lying third from bottom and eying another upset after their Telkom Knockout Final win over Pirates in December last year.
Matome Mabeba grabbed the lead for Baroka in the 13th minute with a sensational left-footed free-kick from 20-yards to the top corner that left Mabokgwane with noc chance.
The hosts were probing for the equaliser after 25 minutes but Bakgaga were compact at the back and defending in numbers, although the Buccaneers were often let down by their final ball.
Baroka, meanwhile, were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure with the hope of catching the home side on the counter attack.
Sredojevic made an attacking change at the beginning of the second stanza, as influential forward Thembinkosi Lorch came on for defensive midfielder Motshwari, before Justin Shonga came close to pulling a goal back for Bucs with a volley that sailed just over the crossbar.
Nyirenda responded with his first substitution a minute later, with Talent Chawapiwa replacing Jemondre Dickens as Baroka looked to punish the Buccaneers on the counter.
Pirates made another on the hour-mark as striker Thamsanqa Gabuza replaced Dube, while Kudakwashe Mahachi came on for defender Happy Jele with 15 minutes remaining as Pirates pushed for the equaliser.
Vincent Pule finally brought parity for Pirates seven minutes before time with a well cushioned header into the far corner, leaving Elvis Chipezeze with no chance.
The Buccaneers had the momentum in the closing minutes, but Bakgaga held on for dear life as the sides shared the spoils on the night.
Pirates: Mabokgwane, Jele, Munetsi, Ndengane, Dube, Motshwari, Mako, Mntambo, Pule, Shonga, Mulenga,
Subs: Sandilands, Da Silva, Mabaso, Memela, Lorch, Mahachi, Gabuza.
Baroka: Chipezeze, Semenya, Sibiya, Gebhardt, Banda, Madigoe, Mosele, Mabeba, Makgaka, Sodi, Dickens.
Subs: Chawaphiwa, Mdantsane, Chivaviro, mapetho, Patjie, Ncube.