BRAVE UNITED HOLD ON FOR A POINT AGAINST THE BUCCANEERS
20 October 2021
Despite playing nearly half an hour with just 10 men, Maritzburg United were able to secure a 0-0 draw against Orlando Pirates at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.
In a hard-fought physical DStv Premiership encounter, the Team of Choice put up a solid defensive display to keep the clean sheet against Bucs.
The first half largely went the way of Pirates, who had the better of ball possession while enjoying a few good chances on goal.
In what was Bucs' first clear sighting on goal, Maritzburg keeper Marcel Engelhardt did outstandingly to rush off his line and block Tshegofatso Mabasa's close-range effort from a tight angle, after he had been put clean in on goal by Linda Mntambo in the 15th minute.
Engelhardt also made a good save to deny Mntambo five minutes later as he pushed away a low shot from the edge of the area.
Just after the half hour mark there was an escape for the home side when Mntambo fired in a cross which picked out Terrence Dzvukamanja, but with the goal at his mercy he missed the target.
After an evenly-balanced start to the second half, the Team of Choice's task was made all the harder in the 66th minute when Brandon Theron was red-carded after a foul on Thabang Monare.
The Soweto side then went on to enjoy more frequent chances, the next one coming two minutes later when Fortune Makaringe's sweetly-struck half volley was tipped over by Engelhardt.
Simiso Bophela then fired a shot over the bar for Pirates before Makaringe curled a 25-yard effort marginally wide on his former stomping ground.
The final 15 minutes of the match saw Maritzburg doing well to keep the visitors at bay as they held on with relative comfort for the point.
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