/ 9 March 2008

Damp squib for Pirates after rain deluge

Orlando Pirates were held to a deflating 0-0 draw by bottom Premier Soccer League club Black Leopards after the heavens opened up at Johannesburg Stadium shortly before the kick-off on Saturday night.

An uninspiring display against a team who had lost their last six games has left the Buccaneers seven points behind log leaders Ajax Cape Town, with eight games remaining, and seemingly little chance of fulfilling their supporters’ dreams of championship glory.

Leopards, in the process, marginally improved their hopes of avoiding relegation with a resolute, brave display on a rain-soaked pitch that resembled a giant sponge in parts.

And Pirates’ mediocre performance was reflected in the fact that they did not manage a shot at goal throughout the opening 45 minutes and at no stage seriously worried the composed Mashudu Mampitha in the Leopards goal.

Pirates coach Owen de Gama looked on with growing disbelief and frustration while his players’ performance deteriorated from bad to worse.

With Leopards growing in confidence and clawing their way to a commendable away draw, the struggling Limpopo-based combination actually forced eight corners against the three of Pirates.

And making their surprise achievement more praiseworthy was the fact that they played without the guidance of a coach, as Boebie Solomons remains under suspension and seemingly poised to leave the club for allegedly ”under-performing”. — Sapa