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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Pirates stumble to a draw against Richards Bay

Pirates had gone into the break recording two confidence-boosting wins.

Orlando Pirates failed to continue their winning after they were held to a goalless draw by Richards Bay FC in a DStv Premiership match at King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.

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Pirates had gone into the break after recording two confidence-boosting wins against Sekhukhune United and Kaizer Chiefs, but they could not break the resolute Natal Rich Boys defence.

The Buccaneers, who had the better of chances overall in the game, failed to use them, but Richards Bay also has to be given credit for their solid defence. 

After the result, the Sea Robbers are now in eighth place on the log with 16 points after 12 games, while Richards Bay remain second from bottom with 10 points after playing 13 matches.

It wasn’t one of the best first half for Pirates, despite making a number of entries inside the Richards Bay box while managing to enjoy more of the ball possession.

But, there weren’t enough clear-cut opportunities created, with the hosts very cautious of the dangerous Bucs attacks.

However, there was a point when Pirates had a good chance to score after striker Evidence Makgopa controlled the ball well inside the Natal Rich Boyz box, but his shot was saved in the 14th minute.

The home side were struggling to keep a good momentum going forward, They finally got a chance after the half-hour mark following a good counter-attack, but Thulani Gumede’s shot was finely dealt with by Bucs keeper Melusi Buthelezi.

The game would go on into the break with neither side breaking the deadlock.

Pirates had a good chance to take the lead from a Tapelo Xoki set-piece in the 69th minute, but Jackson Mabokgwane made a great save.

Bucs were piling pressure on their opponents with the away side running out of time in their search for a goal. 

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Pirates coach Jose Riveiro made a few chances bringing on Monnapule Saleng and Kermit Erasmus to help out in attack. But, there was little Pirates could do going forward, as the hosts remained determined to fight to the end until the two teams shared the spoils after escaping a Pirates attempt that hit the cross-bar in the later stages of the game.

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