Kaizer Chiefs 1 (Molangoane 15′)
Orlando Pirates 1 (Masilela OG 33′)
Kaizer Chiefs remain in fourth place on the Absa Premiership log standings following a compelling one-all draw with Orlando Pirates at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.
This time it was Chiefs who looked perplexed early on as Pirates, perhaps maddened by relentless reminders of their inferiority in every area of the field, took the game to the hosts with palpable passion.
It took Pirates five minutes to get their first chance of the match. The opportunity fell to the skillful Thembinkosi Lorch who did well to beat his marker on the left and tried his luck with a curler from outside the box, but his effort went off target.
In the eleventh minute Pirates came very close to opening the lead when Dove Wome hit a powerful shot from the edge of the box, which Khune did well to parry away to safety. Amakhosi survived the onslaught with the waves of attack from the buccaneers.
Early chances for the visitors came to nothing but Chiefs had been served notice of an intent that took more substantial form in the 11th minute. Again Khune was rushed into characteristic saves as he denied Wome again following a shot from inside the box.
Amakhosi settled into a rhythm following a pep talk from the sidelines and created a few opportunities of their own. It was no surprise when Siphiwe Tshabalala went past a couple of the Pirates players on the edge of the box and found Bernard Parker on the left who calmly played the ball across face of goal to the unmarked Joseph Molangoane to make it 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs.
Minute later Pirates almost leveled matters with a screamer from Gabuza from inside the box, but Khune was well alert once more to keep his side in the lead.
In the 33rd minute the determination showed by Pirates early on paid off as Lorch sneaked past his man on the far post and connected with a volley that Masilela tried to clear but beat his own keeper on the near post for an own goal. Score 1-1 as both teams went into the half time break.
Chiefs started the second stanza with the same approach that they ended the first with. A couple of minutes into the half Tsepo Masilela found some space on the left and played a cross into the box that found Parker who’s header sailed over the bar.
The two sides continued to search for the winner, and in the 49th minute Pirates’ winger Lorch hit a shot from outside the box that sailed over the bar.
A couple of minutes later Amakhosi got their best chance of the half when winger Edmore Chirambadare landed on a loose ball on the edge of the box, the Zimbabwean international beat one man and unleashed a screamer that went inches wide off target.
Similar half chances would follow as the match continued without any real chances to trouble any of the keepers.
With nine minutes on the clock, Molangoane won a penalty for Chiefs when his pass into the box hit Ayanda Gcaba’s arm and the referee wasted no time and pointed to the spot.
With the crowd now sensing a winner in this Derby, Katsande stepped up with the intention of taking the lead, but it was Mhlongo who won the duel as he pulled off a decent save to keep the scores level.
Amakhosi played like a team that knew well what was at stake, but was forced to settle for a disappointing draw despite outplaying its Absa Premiership rival and having had a wealth of scoring opportunities.
Key moment in the match:
That would have to go to Kaizer Chiefs captain; Itumeleng Khune who made a brilliant one handed save to deny Dove Wome in the first half. That save allowed Chiefs to remain in the game and go on to take a deserving lead in the early stages of the first half.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Despite missing what could have been a match-winning penalty, Willard Katsande was definitely Kaizer Chiefs’ Man of the Match. The Zimbabwean kept the midfield together and won nearly all his battles. He was also the glue between the two centre-backs and the midfield. The 31-year-old midfielder again delivered a five star performance.
What it means:
This draw keeps Amakhosi in fourth spot on the Absa Premiership standings with 35 points from 20 matches, three points behind league leaders Cape Town City.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Itumeleng Khune, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Lorenzo Gordinho, Erick Mathoho, Tsepo Masilela, Willard Katsande, George Maluleka (Baloyi 62nd), Edmore Chirambadare (Twala 55th), Siphiwe Tshabalala, Joseph Molangoane, Bernard Parker (Páez 85th)
Subs: Brilliant Khuzwayo, Lucky Baloyi, Sibusiso Khumalo, Daniel Cardoso, George Lebese, William Twala, Gustavo Páez
Orlando Pirates 11: Brighton Mhlongo, Ayanda Gcaba, Happy Jele, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Patrick Phungwayo, Abbubaker Mobara, OupaManyisa, Mpho Makola, Thembinksi Lorch (66th), Dove Wome (Ndoro 66th), Thamsanqa Gabuza.
Subs: Siyabonga Mpontshane, James Okwuosa, Issa Sarr, Gift Motupa, Riyaad Norodien, Luvuyo Memela, Tendai Ndoro
Amakhosi will switch focus to Cup competition now as they kick-start their 2016/17 Nedbank Cup campaign against first division side, Stellenbosch FC. The match will take place at the Athlone stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 20:15.