Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
2 minute read
27 May 2022
9:56 pm

No Champions League spot for Pirates and Royal AM as they cancel each other with thrilling draw

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

The Buccaneers can now only end the season on 47 points, two short of second place Cape Town City.

Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates gets past the challenge of Kabelo Mahlasela of Royal AM FC during their 2-2 DStv Premiership match at Chatsworth Stadium in Durban on 27 May 2022. Picture: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates and Royal AM will not be competing in the Caf Champions League after the sides played to a 2-2 draw in a DStv Premiership clash at Chatsworth Stadium on Friday night.

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Thwihli Thwahla fought from behind to earn the draw after Pirates scored two goals in the first half, only for the home side to also score two goals in the second half.

With only one game remaining, the Buccaneers can only finish the season with 47 points, but, that’s only if they win their last game against SuperSport United with second place Cape Town City on 49. With the draw, Royal are now on 47 points and jumped to third place on the log.

Two quick goals by Pirates helped the Soweto giants to take away the game from Thwihli Thwahla. Deon Hotto put Pirates in the lead in the third minute after tapping in a Thembinkosi Lorch cross.

Lorch was also involved in the second goal as Kwame Peprah headed the ball inside the net from close range in the seventh minute to register his seventh goal of the season.

The home side were now chasing the game, with Tebogo Potsane and Mokete Mogaila trying to get their side back into the game. Potsane came close in the 34th minute, but his shot was blocked by the Bucs defenders as the game went into the break with the away side in control.

In search of their opening goal, Royal weren’t making many entries into the Pirates box, and when they did, Richard Ofori managed to make a great save just before the hour mark.

The home side finally had something to celebrate as Thabo Matlaba’s powerful shot from just outside the box beat Ofori to make it 2-1 in the 79th minute. Pulling one goal back gave Royal some energy as they went in a quest for their second.

The KwaZulu-Natal based side put a lot of pressure on Pirates, and with the game on injury time, Mfundo Thikazi got the equalising goal for the home team as the teams went on to share the spoils.