Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns held to scoreless draws on a barren night in PSL
Title contenders Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns were both held to 0-0 draws in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday, on a night where just two goals were scored in four games.
Pirates were held at home by Lamontville Golden Arrows, while Mamelodi Sundowns could not break down a stubborn Bloemfontein Celtic in their clash in the Free State.
At the Orlando Stadium, Pirates handed a debut to Brazilian full-back Caio Marcelo da Silva, who took his place on the right side of the defence.
There were very few chances in the first half, with Happy Jele heading wide from Vincent Pule's cross perhaps the best of them.
Arrows had an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock when Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane was forced to make an excellent point-blank save from Sibusiso Sibeko's header following a free-kick.
Pule then found himself one-on-one with Golden Arrows keeper Nkosi Gumede, but could not hit the target, while his late free-kick also went narrowly over the bar.
Sundowns will wonder how they did not come away with full points from they visit to Celtic as Toni Silva struck the crossbar early with a header from Phakamani Mahlambi's cross.
Hlompho Kekana saw his blistering shot saved by Patrick Tignyemb in the home goal, while Silva found himself behind the Celtic backline, but could not capitalise on a wonderful chance.
Celtic had a few chances themselves, with Lorenzo Gordinho denied by an excellent save from Denis Onyango.
Lebohang Maboe thought he had put Sundowns in front late on, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Chippa United continued their recent revival under Eric Tinkler with a 1-0 home win over Free State Stars to give them seven points from the last nine available and climbing towards the top eight.
Ruzaigh Gamildien grabbed the only goal, his first Premier League strike in almost three years.
Black Leopards bounced back from their recent 4-0 hammering at the hands of SuperSport United by claiming a 1-0 success in their Limpopo Derby with Baroka FC.
Phathutshedzo Nange got the only goal of the game 13 minutes from time to possibly save the job of coach Joel Masutha after a difficult start to the campaign.
After the full round of midweek Premier League action, Bidvest Wits head the table with 16 points from eight games, one point more than second-placed Pirates, who have also played a game more.
Kaizer Chiefs are third with 14 points from nine games, while Sundowns sit in seventh with 10 points, but they have only played six matches.