Johannesburg (AFP) – Orlando Pirates lost a chance to top the South African Premiership table on Sunday when held 0-0 by lowly SuperSport United in Pretoria. 

A three-goal victory, or a two-goal win in which they netted at least five times, would have enabled the Soweto Buccaneers to replace AmaZulu as leaders.

Given the poor start to the season by SuperSport, with just one point from a possible nine, it was a realistic target on a chilly late winter night.

But Pirates never clicked and almost suffered a shock defeat with Thamsanqa Gabuza missing a sitter for SuperSport six minutes from time.

A cross was lobbed over Pirates captain and Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori and unmarked Gabuza failed to connect with the ball inside the six-yard box when a goal seemed inevitable.

Pirates best chance came early in the second half as a shot from Cameroonian Bienvenu Eva Nga was parried by Zimbabwean goalkeeper George Chigova to Vincent Pule, who blazed over. 

Drawing lifted Pirates two places to third, two points behind AmaZulu and below TS Galaxy on goal difference.

AmaZulu rose to the top on Friday with a dramatic 3-2 away win over Swallows in Soweto thanks to a last-minute headed goal from Mbongeni Gumede.

Gumede had earlier conceded one of two own goals in a match which proved to be the most exciting of the fourth round.

Malawian Frank Mhango, discarded by Pirates after rarely playing in their last campaign, stretched his goal-a-game record for AmaZulu to three matches.  

Namibian Peter Shalulile, voted the best Premiership player last season after finishing as leading league scorer, put Mamelodi Sundowns ahead at Sekhukhune United on Saturday.

But Sundowns, seeking a sixth consecutive title, were caught napping in the opening minute of the second half when Linda Mntambo equalised to force a 1-1 draw in Polokwane.

Kaizer Chiefs bounced back after a four-goal hiding from Sundowns last weekend to edge Richards Bay 1-0 in Durban despite having Yusuf Maart red-carded on 31 minutes.

Sundowns lie fourth and Chiefs are eighth as they try to end the bleakest period in their 52-year history having gone seven seasons without a trophy.