Amakhosi complete season treble over Pirates

29 February 2020

 

 

Orlando Pirates       (0) 0

Kaizer Chiefs            (1) 1 (Manyama 30’)

 

Kaizer Chiefs defeated Orlando Pirates 1-0 in an Absa Premiership fixture at FNB Stadium on Saturday, thanks a wonderful strike by Lebogang Manyama in the 30th minute as well a host of great saves from Daniel Akpeyi. The win ensured that Chiefs completed a league double over Pirates for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Amakhosi had also defeated Pirates when they met in the earlier league meeting this season 3-2 back in November. It was Chiefs’ third win of the season over Pirates as they also overcame them in a Telkom Knockout quarterfinal clash earlier in the season.

The first talking point of the game came in the 10th minute when an attempted shot at goal from Kearyn Baccus looked to have hit Vincent Pule on his arm. The referee was unmoved by Chiefs calls for a penalty.

It took a brave save at point blank range from Akpeyi to prevent Pirates from going ahead in the 15th minute. A cross from the left by Thembinkosi Lorch saw Luvuyo Memela lurking at the far post and he headed the ball back across goal. He found Gabadinho Mhango, whose attempt from close range was blocked bravely by the Chiefs keeper as he got his face in the way to stop the ball going in.

Two minutes after that, he was called on to make another save after as he stopped Mthokozisi Dube’s flick at goal, after Dube had touched Thembinkosi Lorch’s driven ball from the left towards goal. A quickly taken free kick by Manyama in the 29th minute saw the ball played forward to George Maluleka, who raced on goal and fired the ball at Wayne Sandilands. The keeper got the faintest of touches as the ball rattled the side netting.

A minute on, Chiefs did get the lead. A Pirates attack was broken down on the halfway line and the ball eventually reached Samir Nurković who in turn played it sideways to Lebogang Manyama. Manyama pushed the ball forward and then curled it past the Pirates defence and the outstretched Sandilands to give Chiefs the lead. This was his 6th league goal of the season and the 400th in the derby between Pirates and Chiefs in official games.

Chiefs went into the break after a fiercely contested first half 1-0 ahead.

Amakhosi came out looking to double their lead early on in the second half. Manyama sent a cross from the left curling towards goal where Nurković was lurking as he attacked the ball Sandilands stormed off his line to punch the ball away. This happening in the 47th minute.

Akpeyi was again at his best making a brace save at the feet of Lorch after he had been fed through on goal. The Chiefs stopper’s quick thinking saw him thwart the Pirates attack as he came off his line to make the save.

In the 59th minute, Chiefs introduced Khama Billiat, replacing Leonardo Castro.

Chiefs had a wonderful chance to go two goals up in the 64th minute. A long clearance from Akpeyi was flicked forward, where Khama Billiat managed to run onto as he bore down on goal, he tried to send the ball to his left where Manyama was lurking but Ntsikelelo Nyauza came sliding in to block the danger.

After a Chiefs corner had broken down on the right in the 72nd minute, Amakhosi managed to retrieve the ball with Maluleka feeding it to Manyama, who in turn delivered the perfect ball towards goal where Mulomowandau Mathoho managed to make contact with the ball but his close range header missed the mark.

Akpeyi proved his worth again in the 73rd minute making three spectacular saves in succession. First he stopped a shot from Lorch at close range and then quickly composed himself to block the rebound from Memela, Pirates then had one more shot at goal with Akpeyi managing to get to his feet quickly enough to block the ball with Pule driving it goal-wards.

Four minutes from the end, Akpeyi was at it again as he made a fine save stopping a shot from Lorch at close range, as he got up off the ground to push the ball over the goal and keep Pirates out from finding an equaliser. Despite six minutes of referee’s added time at the end of the second half, Chiefs weathered the storm to defeat Pirates for a third time in all competitions this season.

Victory saw Chiefs end Pirates’ 10 game unbeaten run in the league. It was also Pirates first loss in a league game with Josef Zinnbauer as their coach and it was Pirates first league defeat of 2020. It now sees Chiefs build a seven point gap over Mamelodi Sundowns at the top of the table.

 

Fact of the Match:

Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp becomes only the second Chiefs coach in the PSL era to go six league games as Chiefs coach against Pirates without losing the other was Stuart Baxter. Ernst Middendorp is also the only Chiefs coach in the PSL era to have defeated Pirates home and away in two league seasons. He was in charge when Amakhosi defeated them in 2005-06.

 

Numbers of the match:

This was Chiefs’ 850th league win in the history of the club since they played their first ever league fixture against African Wanderers on 17th April 1971, a game they won 11-1. It was also Chiefs 40th league win over Pirates.

 

What it means

The win sees Chiefs extend their lead at the top of the table to 7 points over Sundowns, and it sees Amakhosi build a nine-point lead over Pirates, having played one less league game then them.

 

Most Valuable Player (MVP):

There is no doubt as to who Chiefs match winner was. Daniel Akpeyi ensured that Amakhosi kept their first clean-sheet in a league game against Pirates in five games, with a host of top drawer saves. Which ensured that Chiefs walked away with the win.  He picked up the man of the match award. Lebogang Manyama also deserves plaudits for his goal which in the end proved to be the match winner.

 

Teams:

Chiefs XI: Akpeyi; Moleko, Mathoho, Cardoso, Frosler; Katsande © (Agay 77’), Maluleka, Baccus, Manyama (Parker 88’); Nurković, Castro (Billiat 59’)

Subs not used: Khune; Sasman, Ntiya-Ntiya, Zuma

Pirates XI: Sandilands, Jele ©, Maela, Nyauza, Dube (Mako 73’), Motshwari, Makaringe (Dlamini 81’), Pule, Lorch, Memela (Mabaso 81’), Mhango

Subs not used: Delle, Ndengane, Ndhlovu, Mulenga

What next:

Chiefs will next be in action in a league game at home against AmaZulu on the 7th March at the FNB Stadium. They will aim to further strengthen their grip on top spot in the Absa Premiership standings.