Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 Orlando Pirates: Amakhosi grab Soweto Derby bragging rights
Innocent Maela, Orlando Pirates & Samir Nurkovic, Kaizer Chiefs, March 2021
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Nurkovic was the hero for the Glamour Boys, who managed to avoid a fourth defeat to Bucs in the current campaign

Kaizer Chiefs grabbed the Soweto Derby bragging rights after securing a 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates in the PSL match which was played at FNB Stadium on Sunday afternoon. 

Samir Nurkovic's first goal in the biggest fixture in the South African football calendar earned the Glamour Boys a hard-fought victory against a wasteful Bucs side. 

Amakhosi were the underdogs as they were winless in six matches in the PSL having drawn 0-0 with Angolan giants Petro de Luanda in the Caf Champions League game on Tuesday. 

Nurkovic, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Leonardo Castro and Reeve Frosler returned to the starting line-up with coach Gavin Hunt making four changes to the team which faced Petro in Angola.

Undefeated in four PSL games, Bucs, who had defeated Amakhosi three times this term, were the favourites and they had also edged out Nigeria's Enyimba FC 2-1 in the Caf Confederation Cup game on Wednesday.

Sipheshile Ndlovu replaced Fortune Makaringe in the starting line-up with coach Josef Zinnbauer opting to make one change to the team which took on Enyimba in Orlando, Soweto.

The Soweto Derby encounter got off to a typically-frantic start, with Pirates determined to impose themselves on the game and they had the first shot on target.

Deon Hotto was afforded time and space on the edge of the hosts' box and he unleashed a shot which was saved comfortably by a well-positioned Daniel Akpeyi in the Chiefs goal-posts. 

However, Amakhosi looked dangerous on transition as Bernard Parker's thunderous long-range shot went just over the crossbar with Bucs goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane rooted to the ground.

Parker was involved when the Glamour Boys got their first shot on target as the veteran attacker set-up Happy Mashiane, whose first-time low shot was well saved by Mpontshane.

Amakhosi continued to threaten on the counter and Thulani Hlatshwayo had to make a crucial clearance from Mashiane's pass which was meant for an unmarked Nurkovic and the score was 0-0 at half-time.

Attacking midfielders Makaringe and Kabelo Dlamini were both introduced by Zinnbauer prior to the start of the second half as the Buccaneers looked to break the deadlock. 

However, it was the hosts, who scored in the 54th minute when Nurkovic hit the back of the net with an acrobatic effort to make it 1-0 to Chiefs after the visitors had failed to clear their lines.

Pirates controlled the match after conceding and they should have equalised when the ball fell kindly for Makaringe in the box, but the unmarked playmaker dragged his shot inches wide of the target.

Hunt then pulled out the attack-minded Ngcobo and introduced Darrel Matsheke, who is a defensive midfielder, as the experienced tactician protected his backline.

Nurkovic should have doubled Amakhosi's lead when he was sent through on goal by Mashiane's defence-splitting pass, but the Serbian striker placed his effort over the crossbar.

Bucs did have an opportunity to snatch a late equalising goal when unmarked Ndlovu received a pass in the box and he unleashed a tame shot which was easily saved by Akpeyi. 

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That proved to be Pirates' last real chance of the match and Chiefs managed to hold on to their narrow lead and ultimately, they emerged 1-0 winners over their archrivals on the day.

The win saw Chiefs move up to ninth place on the league standings ahead of their Champions League game against Wydad Casablanca which will be played at FNB Stadium on April 3.

While Pirates remained fourth on the PSL table and they are scheduled to face Libyan club Al Ahli Benghazi away in a Confederation Cup match on April 4.