In a fast paced Soweto derby, goals from Dladla and Kamwendo saw the game locked in a stalemate, before penalties decided it in favour of Kaizer Chiefs.
The Soweto derby is always an exciting and heated affair, with both sides desperate to get a win for their die-hard fans. This is one of the first matches to be played in the new Nelson Mandela Stadium, which is to be used for next year’s World Cup, and it is fitting that such a historically important game is one of the first to grace the new state of the art 48 000-seater venue.
Before going into this match, both teams knew that the winner of this encounter would take on Manchester City in Tshwane on Saturday in the final of the Vodacom Challenge. In earlier games, Pirates won in their encounter with the English club, beating them 2-0 thanks to a Lucas Thwala penalty and a stunner from new signing Phenyo Mongale, while Chiefs were unable to repeat Pirates’ exploits against the Citizens, going down 1-0 thanks to a goal from Man City captain Stephen Ireland. On the night, Chiefs won on penalties, and they will now face Manchester City in the final of the Vodacom Challenge on Saturday.
The game began in a lively manner, with both sides willing to play an attacking style in the early exchanges. Chiefs had the first real attack on 3 minutes, but Mahamutsa did very well to stop Nale’s run with a well-timed slide tackle. Pirates struggled to get forward, and it was the Amakhosi who were the more dangerous of the two sides early on. Chiefs took the lead in the 9th minute after Nale did well to win the ball from the Pirates defence, giving a through ball that found Josta Dladla in space, and the South African slipped the ball past Josephs and into the Bucs goal for the opener.
Less than a minute later, Chiefs were at it again, as Musona unleashed a fine long range strike which required an acrobatic save from Joshephs to put it wide of the post. In the 16th minute a scramble in the Chiefs area almost saw Mashego find an equaliser, but Khune got down low to cut down the angle of the shot and block the effort. Chiefs were dominating the game, and in the 20th minute yet another shot from Masango demanded the best of Josephs to keep it out.
Only a minute later Pirates had a penalty claim denied, as a counter attack saw Mashego breakthrough before being sandwiched by two defenders, but the referee saw nothing wrong. An aggressive battle on the pitch dominated the play, and Chiefs did well to hold their own against the bigger players of the Buccaneers. In the 30th minute a cross from Chiefs almost found Nale in a dangerous position, but Lekgwathi intercepted and cleared the danger.
Pirates were soon back into the game however, and in the 30th minute Malawi international Kamwendo went on a fine run and on a one on one with Khune, he got the best of him, shooting to the keeper’s left and equalizing for the Bucs.
The crowd came alive with matters leveled, and Kamwendo was soon in the thick of the action one again, with a quick one-two almost allowing him to create another one on one opportunity. With half time fast approaching, the coaches urged their respective teams forward, but both defences held tight and a Nale rocket was all that Chiefs could produce, and 1-1 was the score at the break.
The second half began with the fans in the stadium welcoming their heroes back onto the pitch with the sound of cheering and vuvuzela blowing. Both sides made a flurry of substitutions in the hope that fresh legs would produce a goal. Some of the players that came onto the pitch were Modise and Mhlongo of Pirates, as well as Rooi and Sibeko for Chiefs.
Phenyo Mongale had the first shot of the half as he curled an effort goalwards from 18-yards, but it was straight into Khune. The changes kept on coming in the form of Venezuelan international Jose Torrealba, who replaced Musona on the hour-mark.
The second half did not quite have the fire of the first and both teams struggled to create chances as passes went astray and crosses were over-hit. In the 78th minute Chiefs had a scare when a Modise corner bundled close to the goal line before a defender cleared the ball and allowed the Amakhosi to breath once again.
Mabalane was played through down the right by Mhlongo with five minutes of ordinary time remaining, but as with much of the second period, his square-ball for Modise was off-target. Towards the end of the second half Chiefs pushed deep into their opponents area, desperate to score and avoid the penalty shoot out that was beckoning. No goals came however, and a 1-1 score line after 90 minutes meant that the game would be decided a shootout.
Thwala (Pirates) – Goal
Ntuka (Chiefs) – Goal
Chenene (Pirates) – Saved
Torrealba (Chiefs) – Saved
Mahamutsa (Pirates) – Goal
Zwane (Chiefs) – Saved
Lekgwathi (Pirates) – Missed
Dladla (Chiefs) – Goal
Modise (Pirates) – Goal
Nale (Chiefs) – Goal
Mabalane (Pirates) – Missed
Sibeko (Chiefs) – Missed
Mhlongo (Pirates) – Missed
Rooi (Chiefs) - Goal
KAIZER CHIEFS 1–1 ORLANDO PIRATES
GOALS: Dladla (Chiefs) Kamwendo (Pirates)
KAIZER CHIEFS: Khune, Molekwane, Sweswe, Nengomasha, Ntuka, Masenamala, Masango, Dladla, Nale, Mathebula, Musona.
ORLANDO PIRATES: Josephs, Thwala, Seema, Lekgwathi, Mahamutsa, Mabalane, Mdledle, Jali, Mongala, Mashego, Kamwendo.
Peter Pedroncelli, Goal.com