The Premier League side took the lead in the 16th minute at Mbombela Stadium when Rafael van der Vaart scored a fantastic free-kick which he curled past Senzo Meyiwa in the Pirates' goal.
Wales international Gareth Bale almost replicated Van der Vaart's effort later into the half but Meyiwa managed to tip his set-piece over the bar.
Defender Happy Jele then equalised for the Pirates when his shot from a narrow angle was too strong for Brad Friedel, who flapped at it with one hand.
Daine Klate thought he had put the hosts ahead on half-time but his effort was ruled out for offside.
The second half was a much more disjointed affair with both sides making several substitutions and the game eventually petered out into a 1-1 draw.