21 October 2017
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Orlando Pirates 0
Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates played to a goalless draw at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The first half of this Absa Premiership match was nothing to write home about, but there was a much improved display in the second half.
It was Siphiwe Tshabalala’s 30th Soweto Derby and he would have loved to have collected the three points on the day, but it wasn’t to be.
The first half was a tough one for Amakhosi with the Buccaneers having most of the ball possession and the better chances.
The visitors already nearly opened the score in the fourth minute, but there was an excellent save from Itumeleng Khune, diving to his right.
Pirates continued to be the more aggressive side. There was, however, some good defensive work on Chiefs’ side, above all from Erick Mathoto.
Willard Katsande and George Maluleka worked hard in the midfield, although one of the Zimbabwean’s tackles did result in a yellow card in the first half.
Chiefs got an excellent opportunity to open the score in the 29th minute when a header of Siyabonga Ngezana flew past the Pirates goalkeeper, but, instead of landing into the goal, the ball hit the upright.
It would have been a wonderful start to the 20-year-old defender’s Chiefs career, after having scored his first goal on debut against Sundowns on Tuesday.
There was another brilliant stop from Khune on the brink of half-time, diving low to his right. The Amakhosi goalkeeper showed again what a safe pair of hands he has, being simply outstanding.
The first half was not great, especially from a Chiefs perspective.
The second half, however, immediately started on a better note, with the Glamour Boys now being more aggressive.
Still, it was the Buccaneers that got another chance, but Thabo Qalinga’s shot hit the crossbar.
Both coaches decided to ring the changes after about ten minutes of play, with Steve Komphela bringing on Gustavo Páez, who had recovered from his ankle injury, for Hendrick Ekstein. Pirates brought on Bernard Morrison for Thabiso Kutumela.
The game was played at a much higher pace in the second half with the match flowing up and down.
Pirates looked to have scored the opener in the 73rd minute when Bernard Morrison put the ball in the back of the net. But the linesman made an excellent call to advice the referee to disallow the goal as the striker had used his wrist to score.
Daniel Cardoso also got a fine opportunity from close range late in the second half, but he volleyed the ball over the crossbar.
The second half was definitely much better with especially Chiefs improving immensely after their under par first half performance.
Key moment in the match:
From Chiefs’ perspective – there were two key moments. The first was a header from the young talented defender Siyabonga Ngezana in the 29th minute. The ball looked all set to land in goal, only to hit the goalpost. The second was also a header, but this time from Willard Katsande. Only a reflex save from Wayne Sandilands took care that the ball didn’t end in the back of the net in the 71st minute.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Orlando Pirates’ Thabo Qalinge was selected as the Absa Premiership Man of the Match. Itumeleng Khune, however, must have come close to winning this trophy, as he made some truly outstanding saves. Another who did well, particularly in the second half, was Joseph Molangoane. He worked hard and often looked threatening the moment he got in possession of the ball.
What it means:
It means that Kaizer Chiefs are still in 4th position on the Absa Premiership log, having collected 13 points from 8 matches. That’s one point behind Orlando Pirates and two behind Golden Arrows, who are on respectively 14 and 15 points (from 9 games). Log leaders Baroka FC are on 16 points from 8 encounters.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Cardoso, Mathoho, Ngezana (Meyiwa 74’), Zulu; Tshabalala, Katsande, Maluleka, Molangoane; Ekstein (Páez 55’), Parker (Moon 86’)
Subs not used: Khuzwayo, Jayiya, Chirambadare, Zuma
Orlando Pirates 11: Sandilands; Nyauza, Chabalala, Mobara, Maela; Rakhale (Gabuza 64’), Matlaba, Sarr, Qalinge (Lorch 81’); Makola, Kutumela (Morrison 56’)
Subs not used: Mabokgwane, Mtshali, Sangweni, Memela
Next Match: Kaizer Chiefs will host AmaZulu in the Telkom Knockout Last 16 at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, 28 October (kick-off is at 20:15).