Mbesuma helps Aces hold Pirates

Orlando Pirates failed to secure the full three points as they were held to a 1-1 Absa Premiership draw by Mpumalanga Black Aces on Friday night at Orlando Stadium.

The Buccaneers netted first after many attempts at goal, through midfielder Mpho Makola in the 20th minute before former Bucs striker Collins Mbesuma cancelled his strike on the stroke of half time.

Eric Tinkler’s men showed hunger in the beginning stages of the match with plenty of chances created but they failed to convert.

In the fourth minute, Lehlohonolo Majoro and Thabo Rakhale combined but the latter crossed into the box, however, the ball went astray with AmaZayoni’s skipper, Zamuxolo Ngalo, making a clearance for a corner.

It took the hosts 21 minutes to break the deadlock when Makola received a great pass from Thandani Ntshumayelo down the left wing, he cut inside before unleashing a powerful trademark shot beating man of the match goalkeeper, Shu-Aib Walters.

Bucs’ goalkeeper Felipe Ovono was a spectator until the 30th minute when Aubrey Ngoma sent in a dangerous free kick from the edge of the box on the left wing but the keeper punched it away to safety.

However, in the dying minutes of the first stanza, Muhsin Ertugral’s men equalised through Mbesuma as he showed he still has what it takes when he beat Ovono in the box after outmuscling Rooi Mahamutsa to level the game.

The sides went to the tunnel locked at 1-1.

AmaZayoni looked refreshed in the second half with Lebogang Manyama, Ngoma and Tshidiso Tukane trying to cause problems for the hosts. A few minutes later, Mbesuma nearly bagged his second when he tried to chip Ovono from the d-line but the keeper flicked it over the goals.

In the 70th minute, Walters was alert and produced a fantastic save to deny Thabo Matlaba from close range and two minutes later, Ngoma’s delivery into the box found Ngalo but the skipper's attempt was off target.

Towards the last 10 minutes, Matlaba continued to trouble the visitors’ defence in search a lead but Walters again made a brilliant save to deny the Bafana Bafana defender.

Majoro was so close to hand Bucs the three points with one minute to go when he was set up by Kermit Erasmus only to see his shot saved once again by the former Maritzburg United skipper.

It was a night of plenty chances for the hosts but wasted as Aces maintain their unbeaten record this season as they move to the fifth spot on the Absa Premiership log whilst the Buccaneers go to the ninth spot.

Orlando Pirates (1) (Makola 21’)
Mpumalanga Black Aces (1) (Mbesuma 45’)

Pirates: Ovono, Mahamutsa, Gyimah, Jele, Matlaba, Ntshumayelo (Majafa 63’), Maslaesa, Makola (Myeni 34’), Rkhale, Masuku (Erasmus 77’), Majoro

Black Aces: Walters, Kobola, Ngalo, Mzava, Nonyane, Manyama, Khuboni, Ngoma, Jayiya, Tukane (Modiba 68’), Mbesuma (Sherman 81’)