The return of Thembinkosi Lorch couldn’t inspire Orlando Pirates to a victory as they were held to a 1-1 draw by AmaZulu FC in a DStv Premiership at the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium on Wednesday.
Lorch, who had been out for months with a shoulder injury, got in late in the second half for his appearance of the season, but there was nothing much he could do to help his side to a win.
With the result, Usuthu registered their 10th draw of the campaign, making them the team with the most draws in the league, while Pirates have now recorded seven.
The home team remained in position seven on the league standings with 20 points after 14 games, whereas Usuthu jumped to eighth place with 19 points having played 15 matches.
The opening minutes of the match weren’t really impressive in terms of clear cut goal scoring chances. Tercious Malepe would have done better with his header from an Andre de Jong cross in the 15th minute, but the Usuthu midfielder directed it wide. Minutes later, Pirates also got an opportunity through Fortune Makaringe after a good solo run, but he was stopped on his tracks after trying to beat two AmaZulu defenders.
It was in the 29th minute when the Soweto giants would break the deadlock, with a well taken shot by Hotto from inside the box. However, the home side leveled matters just before half-time with a powerful shot by Tshepang Moremi, which deflected off Olisa Ndah on the Bucs goal-line.
In the 53rd minute, Kwame Peprah forced a brilliant save from Veli Mothwa, after the Ghanaian unleashed a powerful shot. AmaZulu came close to extending the lead in the 55th minute after some beautiful display saw De Jong’s effort get blocked by Paseka Mako from going in from the line, before the ball went out for a corner.
In the 80th minute, Hotto wasted a glorious opportunity after himself through on goal with only the keeper to beat, but the winger’s shot was blocked by Mothwa, ensuring that the score remained tied on 1-1.
Pirates added a lot of pressure on AmaZulu, thanks to the introduction of Lorch who was involved in a couple of attacks and could have sealed the win in additional minutes, but his sliding attempt went over the bar.
In other DStv Premiership matches played on Wednesday evening, Swallows , Marumo Gallants and SuperSport United won 1-0 against Baroka FC, Sekhukhune United and Stellenbosch FC respectively.
And as they had earlier indicated, Kaizer Chiefs did not travel to Durban to face Golden Arrows. Abafana Bes’thende arrived alone at the Princess Magogo Stadium.