Arrows still unbeaten after draw against Pirates

Golden Arrows’ unbeaten status in the DStv Premiership remained intact after they held Orlando Pirates to a 0-0 draw at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday.

The result sees Abafana Bes’thende extended their unblemished start to 11 matches and remain in fourth place on 19 points, while the Buccaneers are a point further back and continue to stutter: the Soweto giants have won just once in their last five league outings.

Pirates started on the front foot and created a couple of threatening moments in the opening 20 minutes, with left-back Bongani Sam particularly proficient at playing dangerous crosses when overlapping down the flank.

The hosts had the hunger to get forward in the first half, but the timing and accuracy of their passing left much to be desired, with off-the-ball runs from the likes of Thembinkosi Lorch and Terrence Dzvukamanja often going to waste.

Arrows, for their part, were not much better. The Durban side struggled to get the likes of Pule Mmodi and Velemseni Ndwandwe into the game, leaving striker Knox Mutizwa isolated.

The Buccaneers finally began to find their attacking rhythm in the latter part of the first half, with Lorch hitting the outside of the post with a header from another fine Sam cross in the 36th minute.

However, that was as close to a goal as either team managed in the first half, with the interval seeing the score locked at 0-0.

Arrows introduced Lindokuhle Mtshali at the start of the second stanza and were far more attack-minded, using their flanks well to stretch the home side’s defence in the opening 15 minutes after the break.

Pirates wrestled back control of the game as the second half wore on, but even with the prolific Frank Mhango on the pitch they rarely called Arrows goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana into the most basic of action – let alone any notable saves.

Abafana Bes’thende came on strong in the dying stages as they sniffed an away win over a tiring Bucs outfit, but ultimately they settled for a share of the spoils.

The teams will return to DStv Premiership action this coming weekend, with Pirates away to Maritzburg on Saturday 23 January and Arrows visiting Cape Town City the following day.

Pirates: Ofori, Nyaula, Jele, Hlatshwayo, Sam (Hotto 60’), Makaringe, Motshwari, Monare, Lorch (Mhango 60’), Pule (Jooste 74’), Dzvukamanja (Mntambo 75’)

Arrows: Mlungwana, M. Dube, Sibisi, Shitolo, Lunga, Makhubela, Parusnath, Ndwandwe (Sabelo 79’), Mmodi, Conco (Mtshali 46’), Mutizwa