Absa Premiership match report Orlando Pirates v Mamelodi Sundowns 01 April 2019

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With suspensions on either side, Pirates oversaw three changes in Ben Motshwari, Mthokozisi Dube and Luvuyo Memela, while the visitors brought Anele Ngcongca and Wayne Arendse back in to the side.

Similarly to last season's encounter at Orlando, Sundowns threatened for an early lead inside the first minute when Thapelo Morena fired just wide of the upright from six-yards out.

Pirates almost fell victim to another long-stunner from Hlompho Kekana on 16 minutes, but unlike last time, Wayne Sandilands managed to palm for a corner.

The home side grew into the game as the first half continued, but they had to wait until the final 10 minutes of the half to force Sundowns shot-stopper Denis Onyango into a couple saves of his own.

With no clear-cut chances in the opening quarter, an injury-enforced change on 66 minutes saw Sandilands hauled off for Siyabonga Mpontshane, after the latter took a knock to the face earlier in the second half.

A minute later, Justin Shonga looked to catch out Onyango at the far post following a right-sided free-kick, but the Ugandan leaned back to collect comfortably.

In the last 15 minutes, Onyango continued to frustrate Bucs with a goal-ridden block from a close-range strike by Augustine Mulenga, who was played in by Memela.

Mpontshane was called upon in the final ten minutes to keep out a strike from Themba Zwane as both sides pushed for a winning goal in the closing stages,

In the end, 0-0 was how the encounter ended as Pirates move up to second spot, three points behind leaders Sundowns.

Pirates: Sandilands, Jele, Ndengane, Maela, Dube, Motshwari, Nyatama, Memela, Lorch, Shonga, Mulenga.

Subs: Mpontshane, Munetsi, Mabaso, Makola, Qalinge, Mahachi, Gabuza.

Sundowns: Onyango, Ngcongca, Arendse, Nascimento, Langerman, Mabunda, Kekana, Morena, Zwane, Maboe,  Tade.

Subs: Mweene, Vilakazi, Meza, Coetzee, Lebusa, Lakay, Manyisa.