Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates played to a 0-0 draw at the packed FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon
The mouth-watering Soweto derby kicked off in front of more than 80 000 fans gathered at the FNB Stadium, and both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates fielded their strongest line-up, notably Siyabonga Sangweni in the Pirates side, while Eric Mathoho and Bernard Parker returned for Amakhosi.
Chiefs were, in the 8th minute, awarded a free-kick outside the box, after Sangweni was adjudged to have fouled Kingston Nkhatha. Parker stepped up and sent his shot narrowly wide with Senzo Meyiwa well beaten.
As both teams were still trying to get their feet on the ground when Chiefs’ Willard Katsande brought down Ndumiso Mabena outside the box, but Daine Klate’s free-kick went straight to Itumeleng Khune’s hands.
The home side pressed forward inside 20 minutes, and wanted Pirates to commit mistakes. Chiefs were again rewarded with a free-kick in the 23rd minute, and it was Siphiwe Tshabalala who forced Meyiwa to a brilliant save before the water break.
With 10 minutes of the first half remaining, Tshabalala threatened Pirates goals, after Parker played him through, but he shot with his weaker foot from an awkward angle. Pirates nearly caught Chiefs with a counter attack in the 38th minute, when Thabo Matlaba unleashed a rocket from distance, and it missed the top corner of Khune’s goals by a whisker.
Klate then saw the space on the left, entered the box, and looked to play the cross to Collins Mbesuma, but Khune dived to his left to block the cross with only five minutes to play. Pirates looked dangerous towards half time, and nearly took the lead when Klate’s low shot was deflected for a throw. Chiefs nearly stole the show with a few seconds before the break, but Mashamaite’s header went over the bar.
Both Chiefs and Pirates didn’t make any changes going into the second half, except the forced substitution that saw Tlou Segolela replacing Thulasizwe Mbuyane in the first half. Pirates looked for the opener, and won the first corner of second stanza in the 49th minute, but Khune dealt with it calmly.
Collins Mbesuma and Ndumiso Mabena should have done better in the 51st minute, when they caught Chiefs defence flat inside the box, but they both couldn’t connect with the ball that resulted in Khune’s hands.
Two minutes later, the home side came back to life when Parker dribbled past two Pirates defenders, but he shot wide. Chiefs then replaced an isolated Nkhatha with Sthembiso Ngcobo as they looked for an opening goal. Ngcobo brought immediate changes to Chiefs attacking play, and combined well with Tshabalala in the 57th minute. First, it was Tshabalala who shot on target, but Meyiwa was equal to the task, and parried to safety. Ngcobo then blasted over the bar from a rebound.
Pirates looked under pressure after the introduction of Ngcobo, and the tall striker threatened Meyiwa’s goals in the 65th minute, but Pirates defence came to the party to clear the ball away with Chiefs fans on the feet. Mathoho fouled Oupa Manyisa left hand side of the box, Segolela would then force a brilliant save out of Khune, who nearly fumbled, but Pirates didn’t have enough bodies in the box.
Segolela was then brought down inside the Chiefs box in the 75th minute, but the referee Lwandile Mfiki booked him for simulation to the frustration of the Pirates bench. With only three minutes to play, Ngcobo beat Pirates defence and shot at Meyiwa, but the Pirates keeper produced a brilliant save to keep the visitors in the game. In the end, both Chiefs and Pirates couldn’t score as the match ended 0-0, and Chiefs still hold the five point advantage at the summit of the PSL table.