3 MaRCH 2018
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Castro 29’)
Orlando Pirates (1) 3 (Lorch 22’, Memela 46’, 74’)
Orlando Pirates had the better of Kaizer Chiefs in a game that could have gone both ways. It was a highly competitive match in which both sides created numerous chances to score. The Buccaneers, however, turned out to be the winner, 3-1. Leonardo Castro scored for Amakhosi.
The two teams played each other in an Absa Premiership match at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Willard Katsande came back into the line-up after having missed Chiefs’ last match due to a family bereavement. He replaced George Maluleka, who couldn’t play because of an ankle injury.
Siphiwe Tshabalala returned to the starting XI ahead of Hendrick Ekstein.
Chiefs were the better side during the first 20 minutes of the game, even though it didn’t immediately result in any clear goalscoring opportunities.
Slightly against the run of play, the hosts scored the opening goal in the 22nd minute. There was a bit of luck involved as Katstande, while lying on the pitch, kicked the ball away from the right side of the box, only to get it as far as Pirates’ Thembinkosi Lorch. The Buccaneers midfielder picked up the ball beautifully, ran into the box and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner past Itumeleng Khune.
The Amakhosi faithful, however, didn’t need to wait long for a reaction. Siphiwe Tshabalala whipped the ball into the box from the left with Leonardo Castro towering high above the Pirates defenders to head the ball past Siyabonga Mpontshane. It was a great finish in the 29th minute and the Colombian’s second goal since joining the Glamour Boys during the January transfer window.
The game was great to watch from a spectator point of view, although both sides lost the ball at times a bit too easily, which must have annoyed the respective coaches.
Katsande, besides being slightly unfortunate with the first goal, had a fine first half, while Tshabalala had some nice touches on the ball, often combining well with left-back Philani Zulu.
Pirates coach Milutin Sredejovic brought on Luvuyo Memela for Bernard Morrison at the start of the second half. Referee Daniel Bennett had barely blown the whistle of Memela had the ball in the back of the Chiefs net.
The Glamour Boys fought hard to get their second goal and they were close in the 55th minute when Castro’s header from close range was blocked from going into the goal by the Pirates goalkeeper.
Gustavo Páez was brought on for Ryan Moon in the 57th minute to boost Amakhosi’s frontline.
Pirates, meanwhile, got some great opportunities to extend their lead, but either Khune was alert or the target was missed.
The home side got their third goal on a counter-attack. Justin Shonga passed the ball into the Chiefs box only for Memela to get his brace in the 74th minute, scoring the 3-1 from close range.
Chiefs tried to get back into the game, although Khune was probably the busier of the two goalkeepers during the last 15 minutes of the encounter, making some fine saves.
It was an absorbing game to watch, although the final result was obviously not something the Amakhosi coach would have wanted.
Key moment in the match:
That must have been the moment when Kaizer Chiefs’ defence was found napping at the start of the second half which gave Orlando Pirates the opportunity to score their second goal. Substitute Luvuyo Memela put the ball past Itumeleng Khune just seconds after the restart of the game.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Kaizer Chiefs were definitely not outplayed, as the scorecard might suggest with several Glamour Boys playing well. Willard Katsande was his usual self, Philani Zulu did well going forward, especially in the first half, Itumeleng Khune made again some brilliant saves and Siphiwe Tshabalala showed why he’s still important to the team. But it was Orlando Pirates’ Musa Nyatama who was selected as the Absa Premiership Man of the Match.
What it means:
It means that Kaizer Chiefs lost out on three much-needed points to be able to challenge Absa Premiership log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. Amakhosi are still in third position, but they are now eight points behind the Brazilians (43 versus 35 from 23 matches). Orlando Pirates are in second spot with 39 points from 23 games.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Mphahlele, Cardoso, Ngezana (Parker 77’); Molangoane, Katsande, Meyiwa (Ekstein 67’), Tshabalala, Zulu; Castro, Moon (Páez 46’)
Subs not used: Khuzwayo, Mathoho, Jayiya, Ntshangase
Orlando Pirates 11: Mphontshane; Maela, Nyauza, Jele, Dube; Nyatama, Shitolo, Lorch (Makola 72’), Mlambo; Morrison (Memela 46’), Shonga (Mulenga 84’)
Subs not used: Mabokgwane, Matlaba, Munetsi, Qalinge
Kaizer Chiefs next host Stellenbosch FC in a Nedbank Cup Last 16 fixture at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, 10 March (kick-off at 20:15).