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SA SOCCER NEWS
Orlando Pirates held by Swallows 26/09/04
Orlando Pirates could not rediscover the scintillating form they displayed in midweek when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Moroka Swallows in a Castle Premiership fixture at the Rand Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Jimmy Tau's own goal put Swallows ahead in the first half, but Pirates launched a spirited comeback in the second period, with goals by Steve Lekoelea and Tyren Arendse putting them ahead, until Maimane Phiri scored a rare goal to secure Swallows a valuable point.

The Buccaneers looked more settled than Swallows during the opening stages and should have broken the deadlock early on when their skipper Benedict Vilakazi missed a glorious opportunity following good work by Lekoelea.

Pirates had another opportunity to open the scoring in the 24th minute, when Lekoelea weaved his way down the right before delivering a dangerous cross to Arendse, but the former Santos star volleyed high over the bar.

In the 34th minute the Birds attacked the Ghosts in a swift move that saw defender Jimmy Tau put the ball into his own net following a powerful shot by Swallows striker Shaun Permall.

Moments later Swallows skipper Goodman Mazibuko pounced on a stray pass from Edwin Malinga, but missed the goal with a few inches.

On the stroke of half-time the talented Gift Leremi nearly equalized when his fierce shot beat Conrad Hendricks in the Swallows, only to hit the woodwork.

Pirates came out with all guns blazing in the second half and equalised in the 64th minute when Vilakazi crossed for Lekoelea to slam home from close range.

The Buccaneers then went ahead four minutes later when Edelbert Dinha picked out Arendse with a superb long ball, for the Bafana Bafana midfielder to deftly lob the advancing Hendricks.

However, Swallows refused to give up and equalised in the 74th minute when midfielder Phiri received a loose ball on the edge of the Pirates area to score with a stunning strike that left Thabang Stemmer no chance.

The home side could have gone ahead two minutes later, when substitute Samuel Ngobeni missed a sitter after receiving a pass from Phiri.

The match ended 2-2, which was a fair reflection of the game.

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