LIFE after Steve Barker began with a dull goalless draw against Orlando Pirates for the University of Pretoria last night, but it’s a point they’ll treasure as they look to move further away from the relegation zone.
Pirates, however, will have been disappointed with the result after dominating most of play. Last night’s match, played just three days after Bucs registered a morale boosting win against SuperSport United, was an opportunity for them to close the gap with Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs.
A point left Bucs 12 points off the pace, but it could have been a lot closer had Pirates made the most of their dominance in wet conditions.
Pirates have been inconsistent in the league and coach Vladimir Vermezovic remains under tremendous pressure to get positive results on a regular basis.
The Serbian made more changes to his team, bringing Issa Sarr, Lennox Bacela, Ayanda Gcaba and enterprising midfielder Thabo Rakhale into the starting line-up.
Without the stocky Kermit Erasmus up front, Pirates did not put Tuks under pressure.
Pirates had only one shot on target in the first period from the boot of Sifiso Myeni in the fourth minute.
The Buccaneers threatened later on in the half, but shots from Rakhale, who was making his first start for the club, and Myeni did not trouble Tuks’ shot stopper Washington Arubi.
Tuks had an opportunity to break the deadlock three minutes into the second half, when Thabo Mnyamane was sent through on goal, but he was denied by Brighton Mhlongo.
Elsewhere, Chippa United moved up to fourth place after a 1-0 win over Free State Stars, who now find themselves in relegation trouble yet again.
William Twala struck for Chippa three minutes into the second half at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth to hand Ea Lla Koto their seventh loss.