Drama aplenty as Orlando Pirates punish Kaizer Chiefs for their mistakes

Samir Nurkovic of Kaizer Chiefs (back) challenges Thulani Hlatshwayo of Orlando Pirates in the DStv Premiership match at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on January 30, 2021.
Samir Nurkovic of Kaizer Chiefs (back) challenges Thulani Hlatshwayo of Orlando Pirates in the DStv Premiership match at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on January 30, 2021.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates capitalised on Kaizer Chiefs’ errors to run out 2-1 DStv Premiership winners in tricky conditions in Saturday’s Soweto derby at Orlando Stadium.

Chiefs’ defensive errors contributed to Thembinkosi Lorch’s 38th-minute opener, and Siphesihle Ndlovu added an easy second for Pirates in the 80th. Daniel Cardoso pulled one back fro Amakhosi in the 85th.

Chiefs boss Gavin Hunt complained in the build-up of individual mistakes this season he said he has seldom seen as a coach. He could rarely have seen quite so many crammed into 90 minutes, including a penalty spurned early in the second half.

“Game toughness” was the other aspect the coach saw lacking, and yes, on this display, this Chiefs might have a shot at the smaller teams, but still have a long way to go matching the PSL’s power-brokers.

Pirates have had a decent week, a solid win away to Maritzburg United followed by a draw at home to TS Galaxy, and then a workmanlike, but ultimately deserved second win in a derby.

Not that Pirates were entirely convincing either. On a sodden, scuffed-up, slippery surface Bucs kept their footing and industriously did what was necessary to \to brush aside their big Soweto rivals.

Before their shape increasingly crumbled as the game wore on, Chiefs actually came out the better structured team, working hard to grit out chances on the poor surface.

A Philani Zulu long-throw was half-cleared as far as Kearyn Baccus, whose low strike slipped past the post.

Then, in a dramedy of mishaps, a fine body swerve from Lebogang Manyama saw him beat Thulani Hlatshwayo in the middle to run through and create the extra man, slipping Samir Nurkovic through on the right. The Serb opted to look for Nkosingiphile Ngcobo on the left when he might have shot, as Bucs keeper Richard Ofori first took, then spilled, allowing Manyama first a shot saved by the keeper, then another wide.

Midway through the half a far better display of football saw a perfect ranging pass from Frosler from deep in his half on the right fall for Nurkovic to control beautifully on the run, smacking his half-volley just high.

Pirates’ goal came against the run of play, and from more individual errors that would have had Hunt pulling his hair out. Happy Jele’s punt up-field could only be knocked backwards by Frosler into the path of Lorch free, who first scramble his touch off the arms of advancing of Daniel Akpeyi, then swept into an open goal

Soon after the restart substitute Happy Mashiane’s touch to beat Ben Motshwari at the left corner of the box saw the youngster taken at the ankles by Bucs’ midfielder, referee Luxolo Badi pointing to the spot. Nurkovic’s poor strike was stopped by Richard Ofori, and Siyabonga Ngezana on the follow-up had an open goal beckoning, and hit the side-netting.

Such a chance spurned early in the second half denied Amakhosi what would have been plenty of time to then make a game of it.

Pirates had a big shout for a penalty turned down when Njabulo Blom tugged Pule down with 20 minutes to go.

Paseka Mako set up Pirates’ second, playing a one-two with Lorch down the left and skipping easily past Frosler’s challenge then squaring for fellow substitute Siphesihle Ndlovu to pick his spot.

A Manyama corner from the left could not be cleared by Bucs, pinging around the area as another sub, Willard Katsande chipped back in from the right, Cardoso heading Amakhosi’s lone response.


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