11 September, 2022
Orlando Pirates began their 2022/23 DStv Diski Challenge campaign on a high note with a tense 3-2 victory over rivals Kaizer Chiefs at King Zwelithini Stadium on Sunday.
Much like the previous season, the two rivals began their campaign with a Soweto Derby clash which saw the Buccaneers seeking revenge after defeat in the corresponding fixture on the last term.
Making his first start at this level, Bucs keeper Musa Magagula was called upon as early as the opening minute, making a low dive to his right to keep out a threatening shot from the home side.
This turned out to be a rare goal-scoring opportunity inside the first 10 minutes, which mainly consisted of subdued football with no real chances at either end.
The next period would however prove to be a direct contrast of the first, beginning with the breakthrough coming in the 12th minute, where another debutant in Relebohile Ratomo displayed excellent awareness to pounce on a defensive error, making no mistake in opening the scoring.
The young Buccaneers were not in front for long as Chiefs equalised three minutes later through Mduduzi Shabalala, whose in-swinging corner kick was parried into the net by Magagula.
The hosts were the more dominant of the two sides during the middle period, with Samukele Kabini and Ndumiso Ngiba were both called upon to make magnificent goal-saving stops.
Pirates’ best period in the opening spell came just before the break, and it began against the run of play as Siphamandla Mdunge found Ratomo right on the edge of the box, and the debutant’s low shot at goal found the back of the net to restore his side’s lead.
They doubled their lead in the closing stages of the first half, as Kabini’s tenacity found him benefitting from another defensive error before angling a shot towards goal, which was helped along into the net to make it 3-1.
Much of the second half flowed the way of the home side, with Chiefs Reserves searching for a way back into the encounter.
It looked as if they had found a way back following a 65th minute set-piece where the ball landed into the back of the net, only for the offside flag to have a final say.
They would eventually pull one back in the 77th minute through Wandile Duba, setting up a tense finish to the encounter.
Another brilliant defensive effort, this time from Seun Moremi, kept the Buccaneers ahead as the home side appeared to have found the equaliser.
A rare attack at the other end saw Surprise Matjeni find a way behind the defence, only to be stopped by the keeper.
A late surge from the young Amakhosi ensured a nervy period as the game drew to a close, but the Buccaneers were able to hold firm, claiming all three points in their opening game.
Pirates Reserves XI: Magagula, Spandiel, Ngiba, Ndlozi, Kabini, Molepo, Bule (Moremi 46’), Khumalo, Mdunge, Ratomo, Nkota (Khoto 46’).
DStv Diski Challenge Preview: Kaizer Chiefs
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