By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
HAPPY “Ma-Gents” Jele saved Orlando Pirates’ day when he scored an all important equalizing goal as the mighty Buccaneers forced Tottenham Hotspur to a 1-1 draw in the second match of the Vodacom Challenge this evening in Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium.
This after Jele had received a good pass from Tlou “Moletji Express” Segolela before he could unleash a thunderous that was aided into the back of the net by Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel into the net, much to the delight of the roaring crowd at the almost packed 2010 FIFA World Cup venue.
It was however Hotspur who gave Pirates some early night-mares with the likes of Gareth Bale, Wilson Palacios and Rafael van der Vaart firing from all the angles, searching for an early lead, but with no luck.
Sensing the repeat of last Saturday’s embarrassment that saw them narrowly lost 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs, Spurs pilled more pressure on the Pirates defense which marred by Lucky Lekgwathi, Rooi Mahamutsa and Reuben Cloete and their effort paid off when Van der Vaart sent the Pirates keeper, Senzo Meyiwa to the wrong direction with a well taken free kick in the 17th minute.
Spurs’ joy was however cut short after Jele leveled the matters in the 40th minute, forcing the match to 1-1 after the regulated 90 minutes after the second half failed to produce scores.
The third match of the Vodacom Challenge will be between Chiefs and Pirates at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Cape Town this coming Thursday which will see the winner going all the way to the final match against Spurs on Saturday at the Coca Cola Park in Jozi.
Orlando Pirates: Senzo Meyiwa, Happy Jele (Njabulo Ntusi 63’), Lucky Lekgwathi (Robyn Johannes 63’), Rooi Mahamutsa (Siyabonga Sangweni 46’), Reuben Cloete, Andile Jali (Clifford Ngobeni 63’), Oupa Manyisa, Isaac Chansa (Mark Mayambela 46’), Tlou Segolela (Rudolf Bester 78’), Bongane Ndulula (Ndumiso Mabena 75’), Daine Klate (Sameehg Doutie 46’)
Tottenham: Brad Friedel, Kyle Naughton (Kyle Walker 46’), Younes Kaboul (Michael Dawson 46’), Bongani Khumalo, Danny Rose, David Bentley (Aaron Lennon 46’), Luka Modric (Niko Kranjcar 58’), Wilson Palacios (Vedran Corluka 46’), Gareth Bale (Jermaine Jenas 58’), Rafael van der Vaart (Robbie Keane 46’), Jermain Defoe (Roman Pavlyuchenko 46’)