Absa Premiership: Kaizer Chiefs 1 Orlando Pirates 1
Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates shared the spoils in the Soweto Derby after drawing 1-1 in the Absa Premiership encounter at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Kermit Eramus opened the scoring inside 10 minutes with a clinical finish to give Orlando Pirates the lead but Kingston Nkhatha had other ideas five minutes before the break when he levelled the matters with a tap-in in the far post.
Kaizer Chiefs are now on 12 points after seven matches and they are still placed fourth on the log while Orlando Pirates lie 14th on the log with four points after three matches so far. The Bucs are behind in league games due to CAF Champions League commitments where they set-up a final against Egyptian powerhouse Al Ahly next month across two legs.
Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa line-up the same team that thrashed Golden Arrows 4-0 in a cup match midweek while Kaizer Chiefs made one change to the side that beat Free State Stars 1-0 in their last outing with Kingston Nkhatha starting in the place of injured Knowledge Musona.
The early stages of the match were dominated by both sides, but Orlando Pirates were threatening more and it was not surprising when they took the lead in the ninth minute when Daine Klate found Thabo Matlaba on the left hand flank, and the left-back didn’t waste time as he crossed the ball into the area where Kermit Erasmus took a first-time shot into the net to leave Itumeleng Khune stunned.
“I think a draw was fair results for both teams as they were no better team than another in this match. This was our away game so a point will do for us.” Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa told reporters after the match
The visitors went on to dominate the match, creating chances midway through the opening half but unable to convert them. Kaizer Chiefs never gave up and their pertinence was rewarded when Kingston Nkhatha was found at the far post by Siphiwe Tshabalala and tapped-in to level the score five minutes before the break in what looked like an offside.
“It frustrates us to draw at home, but we’ve got ourselves to blame after sitting back in the opening stages and allowed Pirates to score. But a point is better than nothing and will help us going forward.” Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter told the press after the match
The Glamour Boys came back from the half time break a better side, but they didn’t create much clear-cut chances despite Baxter introducing Lehlohonolo Majoro midway through the half after Orlando Pirates had already made two attacking substitutions.
Both teams pushed forward in the closing stages of the match but neither side could find the breakthrough and Bucs coach de Sa looked to be happy with the draw away from home when he introduced defensive minded Lehlohonolo Masalesa in the space of winger Daine Klate.
Since this was derby match, both teams started in a flyer and wanted to entertain an almost sold out crowd inside the stadium and at least three going were suppose to come inside 10 minutes. Orlando Pirates midfielder Andile Jali had a go from range but his effort sailed over the bar barely a minute into the match.
In the seventh minute Kingston Nkhatha was put through on goal by his teammate but failed to outpace Rooi Mahamutsa to the ball and the man of the match defender swept the ball under his feet. Then Daine Klate shot wide after he was picked by Erasmus in the 19th minute.
The Buccaneers almost made took a two goal lead three minutes later when first goal-scorer Kermit Erasmus shot over the bar from the edge of the area unmarked. Siphiwe Tshabalala almost equalised after 26 minutes but saw his long range strike go inches wide of Itumeleng Khune’s right hand post.
Rooi Mahamutsa made sure his side keep the lead when he deflected Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s long range strike to concede a corner 11 minutes before the break. Kingston Nkhatha, who levelled the matters before the break, almost became the provider when he found Siphiwe Tshabalala in the area but Bafana Bafana midfielder took too long to take a shot and allowed Andile Jali to clear the danger.
The second half also produced some chances but not like the opening half. The first chance of the half fell to Kaizer Chiefs when Kingston Nkhata tested visiting goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa with a 30-yard strike but the goalkeeper was equal to the task as he parried the ball to safety 10 minutes after the break.
Then a minute later, Itumeleng Khune had to be at his best at the other end to fist Lennox Bacela’s curling effort inside the area for a corner. Then Daine Klate rose the highest following Happy Jele’s cross but he directed his header wide in the 66th minute.
Bernard Parker almost handed Kaizer Chiefs the win in the 90th minute after he was put through on goal by Siyabonga Nkosi but he shot wide of the mark as both teams had to share the spoils.
Kaizer Chiefs line-up: Khune, Gaxa, Mashamaite, Gould, Masilela, Katsande, Letsholonyane, Tshabalala (Nkosi 90th), Lebese (Dladla 89th), Parker, Nkhatha (Majoro 71st).
Orlando Pirates line-up: Meyiwa, Jele©, Matlaba, Mahamutsa, Gcaba, Manyisa, Masuku (Segolela 63rd), Klate (Masalesa 90+2), Jali, Bacela, Erusmas (Myeni 53rd)