Baroka fight back to deny Pirates

Orlando Pirates were held to a 1-1 draw by Baroka FC in an Absa Premiership match at the Fly Emirates Park Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The draw saw the Buccaneers and Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele remain third and 13th respectively on the league standings.

The Buccaneers were desperate to end their four-match goal drought with Tshegofatso Mabasa having started upfront with Frank Mhango.

The hosts applied some pressure on Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele and they managed to break the deadlock and it was Mabasa, who netted following a mistake by the visitors.

The bulky marksman beat Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipepeze with a well-taken shot in the 16th minute - netting his seventh league goal of the season in the process.

However, Baroka came close to restoring parity at the other end a few minutes later, but Pirates shot-stopper Wayne Sandilands was alert as he parried away Thamsanqa Masiya's effort.

The visitors kept pushing for the equalizing goal and Sandilands had to make a great diving save from Goodman Mosele's powerful long-range shot.

Baroka did equalize when Masiya's low cross was tapped home by Evidence Makgopa to make it 1-1 in the 35th minute and he made it three goals in as many league games.

Pirates had an opportunity to restore their lead from a promising free-kick just a before the half-time break, but Chipezeze made a comfortable save from Vincent Pule's set-piece and the score was 1-1 at the interval.

The hosts introduced Thembinkosi Lorch just before the second half started after the club lifted his suspension which saw him being excluded from the PSL bio-safe environment for breaching team protocols.

Bucs attacked in numbers and Thabiso Monyane tried to beat Chipezeze from range, but the experienced keeper parried the ball away just after the hour-mark.

The Baroka defence was solid and compact and Pule also tried his luck from distance and his low effort was well-saved by Chipezeze.

The Zimbabwe international then pilled Lorch's cross, but Luvuyo Memela reacted slowly to the ball and Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele managed to clear their lines in the closing stages.

The last chance of the match went to Masiya, but the winger's low effort was well-saved by Sandilands and ultimately, the two teams drew 1-1 on the night.

Pirates (1) 1 (Mabasa 16')
Baroka (1) 1 (Makgopa 35')

Pirates: Sandilands, Maela, Jele, Nyauza, Mako (Mako 46'), Motshwari, Makaringe (Lorch 46'), Mabaso (Monyane 60'), Mhango (Memela 69'), Mabasa, Pule.

Baroka: Chipezeze, Masiya, Sampson, Mgaga, Makume, Makgopa, Mosele, Sibiya, Kambala (Madondo 67'), Phiri (Mbulu 80'), Ngubane.