Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1
Ndah o.g. 89’
Orlando Pirates (0) 0
25 February 2023
The 2022/23 Kaizer Chiefs vintage wrote themselves into Amakhosi folklore at FNB stadium on Saturday afternoon by earning the Club its fifth straight victory over perennial rivals, Orlando Pirates, a feat never before achieved in 53 years of illustrious history.
A calamitous 89th minute own goal from Olisah Ndah settled a tetchy encounter to give the large contingent of Chiefs fans among the 78000 spectators another dose of bragging rights over their Buccaneer-loving counterparts, who could scarcely believe what they had just witnessed.
The match appeared to be meandering towards a goalless draw as stoppage time approached when man-of-the-match Edmilson Dove sent a speculative long ball forward from inside his own half.
Under no pressure from any Chiefs player, substitute Ndah’s attempted headed clearance sailed backwards over the head of stranded goalkeeper, Sipho Chaine, who was well off his line, anticipating that Ndah would leave the ball to him, and into the gaping net.
It was the second piece of cruel Derby luck for the Nigerian defender. Last season he gave away a last-minute penalty to hand Amakhosi victory in the Derby.
The visitors had been reduced to 10 men on the hour mark after Bucs skipper Innocent Maela was given his marching orders for bringing down Christian Saile, who was clean through on goal.
Much of the match resembled an arm-wrestle, with neither team able to settle on the ball long enough to establish any sort of rhythm or flow.
While Pirates saw a lot of the ball, the Chiefs defence was imperious throughout the game, maintaining shape, distance and discipline to snuff out any potential threat from the opposition’s danger men.
The return of Dove, who missed the defeat against Golden Arrows last weekend, made a notable difference in tightening up the Amakhosi rear guard .
On attack, Chiefs looked the more likely to break the deadlock despite the deficit in possession and Ashley Du Preez forced a smart reflex save from Chaine in a first half that was high on effort but short on clear chances.
The second half continued much like the first, until the 60thminute when Yusuf Maart sent Saile free with a fine pass.
The Congolese striker’s speed proved too quick for Maela, who sent him flying on the very edge of the penalty area in a vain attempt to reach the ball as he bore down on goal. With no covering defender in sight, the referee had no option but to produce a red card for the Sea Robbers captain. Keagan Dolly’s subsequent free kick was saved by Chaine.
Pirates, in an effort to mitigate their numerical disadvantage, receded into a low defensive block with the sole intention of seeing out the remaining time without conceding.
It almost succeeded, though the decisive goal came in somewhat farcical fashion, it was no less than Chiefs deserved, having been the more dominant team over the course of the game.
The three vital DStv Premiership points sees Amakhosi remain in 5th place but draws them level on 31 points with 3rd place Pirates and 4th placed Richards Bay, who are their next opponents on 4 March..
Coach Arthur Zwane welcomed the important win. Despite a slow start he was pleased with the way his team grew into the game.
“It was important to get the three points today,” he said afterwards. “I feel we gave them too much respect in the first 15 minutes. We played in patches. We set pressing traps for them in the middle but when we won the ball we didn’t do enough with it. We were too loose with the ball. We did well in transition and created a few chances, Like when Saile was clean through on goal. He was very forceful during the game.“
“Defensively, I was very happy. With Dove back we did not allow any space in front or behind. He was missing last week and I believe he would have made the difference, like today,” he added.
Explaining his response to the red card, Zwane offered: “With a man advantage I took off a defender (Hlanti) and put on Happy (Mashiane) and (Kgaogelo) Sekgota to go for the winner.”
Chiefs XI: Petersen (1); Hlanti (23) (Mashiane (19) 86’), Dove (2), Ngezana (30), Kwinika (4), Maart (8), Sithebe (6)(Bimenyimana (28) 76’), Shabalala (42), Dolly © (10)(Sekgota (14) 68’), Du Preez (9), Saile Basomboli (21)
Subs: Khune (32); Nj Ngcobo (27), Dube (29), Nange (24), Zwane (37), Duba (36)
Coach: Arthur Zwane
Pirates XI: Chaine (34), Sibisi (5), Xoki (27), Maela (23), Pule (45) (Monyane (2) 79’), Mako (29), Timm (4) (Makhaula (36) 86’), Ndlondlo (15) (Motshwari (6) 64’), Saleng (14), Lorch (3) (Ndah (49) 64’), Dzvukamanja (37) (Hotto (7) 79’)
Subs: Mpontshane (40), Marou (32), Dlamini (18), Erasmus (95)
Coach: Mandla Ncikazi (Jose Riveiro suspened)