DESPITE two more goals from the prolific Tendai Ndoro, Orlando Pirates were held to a 2-2 draw by Highlands Park in an Absa Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday night.
The Buccaneers twice held the lead, but the Lions of the North equalised through Thanduyise Khuboni and Lindokuhle Mbatha late in the first and second halves respectively.
Pirates got off to a perfect start when they claimed the lead inside the first minute of the match. Luvoyo Memela provided a perfect cross from the left flank and Tendai Ndoro headed home his 10th league goal of the season to put the hosts ahead.
Highlands were stunned by the early goal, but they gradually settled into the match and on the quarter hour mark striker Edwin Sitayitayi put a low shot just wide of the target, while less than 10 minutes later Collins Mbesuma missed out from a chance he should have made more of.
On the half hour mark a fine free kick from Franklin Cale picked out Eddie Ngalo, but the former Bl
ack Aces defender put his effort just wide of the mark as the Lions of the North continued to threaten, particularly from the dead ball.
On the stroke of halftime they were rewarded for their persistence when Justice Chabalala gave away a penalty from pulling down Sitayitayi in the box. Thanduyise Khuboni easily tucked home the spot kick to leave the game locked at 1-1 at the break.
Yet the Buccaneers reclaimed the lead 12 minutes into the second half through a penalty of their own, with Ndoro scoring his 11th of the season to make it 2-1. The spot kick was awarded after Ngalo was adjudged to have handled the ball in the 18-yard area.
Pirates were pegged back again with just 10 minutes of regulation time to play, as substitute Lindokuhle Mbatha lashed home a shot from outside the box to make it 2-2 – the second time in the space of a few days that Bucs have conceded a spectacular equaliser.
Orlando Pirates (1) 2 (Ndoro 1’ 57’ pen)
Highlands Park (1) 2 (Khuboni 45’ pen, Mbatha 80’)