Pirates forced to settle draw
Orlando Pirates had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their Absa Premiership encounter with Platinum Stars at the Olympia Stadium in Rustenburg on Wednesday evening.
Excellent Walaza netted in the 22nd minute but his team succumbed to the pressure of Stars, whose busy striker Dingaan Masanabo equalised in the 76th minute.
The pace was frantic as both sides' speedy players attacked relentlessly in the first 15 minutes. Pirates lowered the pace down and dictated terms as Lebohang Mokoena and Bennet Chenene sped up and down the flanks.
The goal though, was set-up by right-back Lucky Lekgwathi, who took advantage of the space in front of him. Lekgwathi played in a dangerous cross that made Walaza stretch to get a touch and the ball flew past Stars goalkeeper Tapiwe Kapini.
A minute later the hosts should have equalised but Masanabo shot wide when it was easier to score and minutes later Eddie Williams stung the palms of Pirates 'keeper Senzo Meyiwa.
Stars searched in vain of an equaliser but Lekgwathi's defence stood strong.
The visitors were forced to play in their half as Stars foraged forward forcefully. Williams and Masanabo tested Meyiwa as Bucs held on to their slender lead into the break.
In the second half Masanabo continued to work tirelessly upfront and got his reward when he nodded in at the far post with the Pirates backline caught flat.
It was end to end stuff as Stars and Pirates went up and down looking for the winner, but it was not to be as both sides had to settle for the draw.
Stars, with 12 points from 13 games, remain at the bottom of the log while Pirates stay in fourth place with 20 points in the bag.
Platinum Stars: Kapini, Mofokeng, Mogaila, Ramokala, Kgatla, Mkalipa (Ngobeni 79?), Williams, Mmotong (Mathe 72?), Tshabalala, Lekoelea (Grobler 46?), Masanabo
Orlando Pirates: Meyiwa, Lekgwathi, Makita, Leshabane, Mkhwanazi (Masehe 81?), Gumbi, Cashibe, Modise, Mokoena, Chenene (Segolela 73?), Walaza
Match report by Shahied Joseph/Backpagepix