Derby Disappointment for Ten-Man Bucs

A late own goal handed Orlando Pirates a 1-0 defeat in their Soweto Derby clash played at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Buccaneers finished the game a man short after captain Innocent Maela was given his marching orders in the second half, forcing an imbalance in numbers for the closing half-hour.

The two sides’ contrasting styles were apparent early on and made for an intriguing afternoon of football, with the Buccaneers dominating possession, while Amakhosi were happy to sit back and attempt to catch the opposition out on the counter.

The first shot on target came from the boot of Vincent Pule on his return to the starting lineup as he tried to create a bit of magic by cutting in from the left flank before unleashing a shot which lacked the necessary power to trouble Chiefs keeper Brandon Peterson. 

Further chances fell at both ends, with the hosts denied by an excellent reflex save from Bucs shot-stopper Sipho Chaine when they countered through Ashley du Preez in the 25th minute before an unmarked Christian Saile squandered a golden opportunity moments later in what was his side’s best opportunity in the opening half.

Thembinkosi Lorch also got close as the break approached with a sweetly-struck effort from outside the box, which was tipped over the bar by Peterson.

The talismanic midfielder began the second half much like the first, hitting another long-range effort which he pulled to the outer side of the upright.

The contest was flipped on its head on the hour mark when Bucs skipper Innocent Maela’s desperate challenge on Saile earned him a straight red card, requiring a complete change in tactics from the men in black.

Chiefs immediately tried to make the most of their numerical advantage, with Chaine forced into a save by Keagan Dolly three minutes after the red card.

The Bucs’ defence held up well amid a barrage from the hosts, who came close to scoring through second-half substitute Caleb Bimenyimana.

The decisive moment came with just a minute of regulation time remaining, and it was through a moment of misfortune on Pirates’ part as Chiefs benefited from miscommunication at the back, with Olisa Ndah directing the ball into his own net with a flicked header over the outstretched Chaine, who had made a few steps outside his goalline.

The combination of a numerical disadvantage and the ticking clock meant that there was minimal chance of Pirates staging a successful comeback, and the home side managed to cling on for another Derby victory. 

Pirates XI: Chaine (GK), Xoki, Sibisi, Maela (C), Timm, Ndlondlo (Motshwari 65’), Pule (Monyane 80’), Mako, Saleng, Lorch (Ndah 65’), Dzvukamanja (Hotto 80’). 

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