Bartlett injury time show steals Amakhosi a point

Kaizer Chiefs 0 (17. Bartlett 90+ min) Orlando Pirates 1 (15. Vilakazi 8 min)

FNB Stadium, Johannesburg

Premier Soccer League

Kick Off: 15h45

9th December 2006

Temperature: 27° C

For almost ninety minutes it was not what the capacity crowd at the FNB Stadium would have wanted, but for most of the 72 000 crowd they got what they wanted with the last kick or should it be header.

Shaun Bartlett, on as a second half substitute, popped up to grab a late equalizer for Chiefs, as they shared the spoils with Orlando Pirates who had taken an eighth-minute lead thanks to a well struck Benedict Vilakazi volley. The draw now means that Chiefs kept in tact a record which has now seen them gone two years without being beaten by their Soweto rivals.

The game did not start out for The Amakhosi as they would have liked and Ernst Middendorp was not pleased when Benedict Vilakazi volleyed Pirates into the lead, courtesy of some sloppy marking by the Chiefs defense. Indeed The Amakhosi could have prevented Vilakazi from shooting Pirates in the lead, had he been marked from the onset, instead he was able to pick his spot and hit the roof of the net with Rowen Fernandez well beaten.

Pirates were good for their lead and dominated play thereafter as they created a number of clear goal scoring opportunities, with Excellent Walaza testing Fernandez with an effort from distance two minutes after Vilakazi’s goal. Five minutes after that effort Walaza found himself with another chance at goal but once again he was unable to find the net, as he shot over from inside the Chiefs 18 yard area.

Inside the first twenty minutes Pirates controlled much of the play and were able to dictate the pace of the game, and they kept their supporters enthralled with a number of neat interchanges. One of which lead to Jabu Mahlangu getting the better of David Obua as he sent in a well floated ball, which fell onto the head of Benedict Vilakazi who instead of heading down wards went up and over.

With The Amakhosi defense working over time they were in need of some inspired play, and on the half hour Siyabonga Nkosi brought out his best game as he took on a number of Pirates players. To good effect and provided David Radebe with the opportunity to give Chiefs a much sought equalizer, unfortunately Radebe could not control his header and went over the goal of Phali.

Ernst Middendorp in a trade mark routine when things are not going as planned went for experience and an attack minded approach, as he brought on Rotson Kilambe and Shaun Bartlett for David Radebe and Gerald Sibeko respectively.

A move which seemed to have given The Amakhosi much more muscle up front, with Bartlett’s experience and Kilambe’s strength Chiefs began asking questions of the Pirates defense. On fifty one minutes Siyabonga Nkosi who had run his socks off all afternoon, had Chiefs best chance of the game.

As he struck a ferocious shot from an acute angle in the direction of the Pirates goal, only to find Avril Phadi in inspired for as the Pirates keeper kept out his effort.

Two minutes later and Chiefs had another crack at goal as the Bartlett Kilambe combo linked up well, with Bartlett laying a ball of to Kilambe whose first time shot was blocked by a Pirates defender. The lose ball was not picked up by the Pirates defense and fell invitingly for Ditheko Mototo lurking on the edge of the Pirates penalty area, he unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot at the Pirates goal only to find Phadi once again in an ungiving mood.

With Chiefs continuing to press Pirates were waiting back and attacking on the counter, on seventy seven minutes Chiefs gave away a free kick in a bid to stop a Pirates attack. Pirates captain Lehlohonolo Seema caught the Chiefs defense unaware as he rolled the ball to Stanton Fredericks, who ran behind the Chiefs ball and ran into the danger zone, as Fredericks bore down on goal a combination of Rowen Fernandez and Fabian McCarthy prevented him from being able to have a crack at goal.

In side the last ten minutes Chiefs began to throw every thing forward, with Jimmy Tau having what looked like a certain goal deflected out for a corner in the eighty first minute. By the time the fourth official had raised his board to indicate that their would be four additional minutes of play, half of the Chiefs fans inside the FNB Stadium had already resigned themselves to a defeat. As the Pirates fans grew more vociferous with time winding down Chiefs rolled the dice one last time, and launched one last attack which resulted in The Amakhosi winning a corner on the left.

Just prior to the corner been taken Chiefs goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez ran the length of the pitch to come up for the corner, the Chiefs keepers presence caused confusion in the Pirates defense. Who were concentrating on Fernandez when the corner came in which allowed an un marked Shaun Bartlett to come run in and head Chiefs equalizer which was the last piece of action for the game.

When the final whistle sounded soon after the Orlando Pirates players fell to the ground while Chiefs celebrated what at one stage seemed an unlikely draw, with honors even on Saturday it now means that Chiefs have gone more than two years since Pirates last tasted victory over them. Chiefs will in the coming week prepare for their tow remaining games of the season against Maritzburg United in eight days time, followed up with a game three days later against Santos. Chiefs will use the euphoria of breaking the hearts of their old foes in the dying minutes of an energy sapping encounter to end off the year with six more years.

Line Up’s:

Kaizer Chiefs: 1. R. Fernandez, 2. J. Tau, 6. F. McCarthy, 44. S. Mkhonza,

33. D. Mototo, 27. G. Sibeko (17.Bartlett 46 min), 8. T. Nengomasha, 13. D. Obua, 10. S. Nkosi, 7. K. Motaung Junior (11. Ngobese 62 min), 31. D. Radebe (22. Kilambe 46 min)

Substitutes: 30. E. Baron, 22. R. Kilambe, 11. E. Ngobese, 21. P. Mayo,

20. L. Agyemang, 12. T. Mooki, 17. S. Bartlett

Coach: Ernst Middendorp

Orlando Pirates: 01. A. Phadi, 14. L. Lekgwathi, 17. L. Seema, 33. T. Chabalala, 19. I. Mdledle, 28. O. Okonkwo, 15. B. Vilakazi, 23. L. Mokoena (20. Makgale 82 min),

11. J. Mahlangu (12. Fredericks 54 min), 08. E. Walaza (18. Masehe 60 min),

25. F. Tefera

Substitutes: 30. S. Meyiwa, 04. E. Malinga, 12. S. Fredericks, 20. D. Makgale, 24. J. Makhanya, 18. P. Masehe, 16. M. Sibeko

Coach: Milutin Sredojevic

Cautions: Orlando Pirates: Yellow Cards, 28. Onyekachi Okonkwo 12 min,

11. Jabu Mahlangu 43 min, 23. Lebohang Mokoena 70 min

Officials:

Referee: Abdul Ebrahim

Assistant 1: Luyanda Somi

Assistant 2: Thulani Gumede

4th Official: Paulo Marques

Match Commissioner: Vincent Allie