29 October, 2022
Orlando Pirates were denied Soweto Derby honours by Kaizer Chiefs, who registered a 1-0 victory in their DStv Premiership clash at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
The fixture was a continuation of a demanding spell of tasks for the Buccaneers, who face a testing run before the upcoming FIFA break which includes a cup final.
Having endured three straight defeats at the hands of their fierce rivals, they set about making their mark early in the encounter and were the brighter of the two sides in the opening exchanges.
The first real shot on goal came in the fourth minute, and it was provided by Monnapule Saleng, who once again combined with Kermit Erasmus, drawing a save from Chiefs keeper Brandon Petersen.
Skipper Innocent Maela had an opportunity from a corner kick in the 12th minute, as he got in on goal on the far post, but did not connect well enough to trouble the Amakhosi defence.
This was followed by the visitors’ best period in the first half, where Bucs shot-stopper Siyabonga Mpontshane was called upon to make a succession of terrific saves.
The 36-year-old had to rush out of his line to stop Keagan Dolly in the 16th minute and was called into duty twice more after the half-hour mark to deny Ashley Du Preez, who was a touch away from sending his side ahead on both occasions.
At the other end of the field, Pirates were attacking from the flank, but weren’t able to find incisive touches into the penalty area.
The Buccaneers went about looking to find the breakthrough early in the second half, with Saleng almost finding an opener with his header from inside the box, which floated off target.
They continued pushing forward with Erasmus going just inches from making it 1-0, while Mpontshane continued to keep things level at the other end, denying Yusuf Maart from well out.
It was the former Bucs midfielder who had the final say through a moment of magic, as he effected a turnover in possession before sending a chip shot from his own half, which caught Mpontshane off his line before the ball crashed into the back of the net to make it 1-0 with just 16 minutes to go.
With the clock ticking, the hosts went in search of the equaliser, which was made all the more difficult with Chiefs hanging back on defence.
There was no way through for Pirates, with Saleng and Ben Motshwari both resorting to long-range shots, which missed the target, before Nkosinathi Sibisi also got in within a touch of levelling matters, but was unable to direct his header towards goal.
It proved not to be the Buccaneers’ day, with Amakhosi walking off with all three points, while focus now shifts into the MTN 8 final in seven days time.
Pirates XI: Mpontshane, Monyane (Peprah 80’), Ndah, Sibisi, Maela (Mako 28’), Mosele (Motshwari 59’), Ndlondlo, Lepasa (Dlamini 46’), Hotto (Makaringe 46’), Erasmus, Saleng.
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