South Africa: Orlando Pirates have now gone five matches without a win after they were held to a 1-1 draw with Baroka FC at Emirates Airline Park on Tuesday evening.
Pirates were knocking the ball around confidently, dominating possession and territory and deservedly took the lead in the 16th minute.
Gabadinho Mhango went storming down the left flank, taking on three defenders but he lost control of the ball. Thamsanqa Masiya’s sloppy back pass meant for goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze was intercepted by Tshegofatso Mabasa, who produced a brilliant left-footed finish from an acute angle in to the opposite corner.
Soon after, Masiya made a great surging run down the right-hand side before getting to the byline and firing the ball back across goal which forced Wayne Sandilands in to taking drastic action to punch the ball out of harm’s way.
In the 35th minute, Vincent Pule let fly with a trademark long-range strike which forced Chipezeze in to diving to his right smartly to make the save.
Just moments later, Bakgaga equalised through Evidence Makgopa for his third league goal of the season. Mhango was dispossessed and Bakgaga sprung on the counter-attack down the right-hand side as Masiya played the one-two with Gerald Phiri Jr before whipping the ball in to the near post for Makgopa to apply the finishing touch.
Bucs coach Josef Zinnbauer brought on Thembinkosi Lorch and Nkanyiso Zungu at half-time in place of Fortune Makaringe and Paseka Mako respectively.
Pirates defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza was lucky to be given a yellow card and not a red for his reckless studs-up tackle on Manuel Kambala, who was stretchered off and replaced.
Pule had another chance to unleash from range after some neat build-up combined with slick interplay from the Sea Robbers. However, the winger’s effort lacked power and was straight at Chipezeze.
Zinnbauer clearly wanted more creativity in midfield and replaced Mhango with Luvuyo Memela. And the substitute also made an instant impact when his corner found Innocent Maela,who headed wide under pressure.
In the 74th minute, Pirates attacked up the right, Lorch tried to find a teammate with a cross and Chipezeze twice spilt the ball but luckily it did not fall in to the path of a Pirates player and was cleared away from danger.
There were no further clear-cut scoring opportunities created as Pirates were left frustrated yet again as they failed to come away with three points for the fifth match in a row.