PLAYER PERSPECTIVE: SHUAIB WALTERS Follow on Twitter
The derby started on the 24 January 1970 with Orlando Pirates, already 33 years old at the time, and the new club Kaizer Chiefs, founded by former Bucs player Kaizer Motaung, taking each other on for the first episode of their storied rivalry.
Today, the Soweto Derby is still going strong, and the matches between the two rivals attract huge attendances.
In the latest bout between them, both teams began cautiously, and while Chiefs broke the deadlock against the run of play with literally their first opportunity in the 16th minute, it was Pirates who created three good chances in the first quarter of an hour and appeared the more impressive.
Brighton Mhlongo—who made a series of smart saves—impressed, while the influential Oupa Manyisa also suggested that he may again be approaching top form.
Abbubakar Mobara was also instrumental in the breakdown of play and constantly looked to make forward passes, which is a relatively new feature of Pirates’ game, and looks to be the style of new coach Kjell Jonevret.
The new man appears keen for Bucs to play more direct football, eliminating long balls and playing first option forward passes, which could be very positive for Pirates going forward.
With the new Pirates coach, I see a certain structure in their defence, but it is still early stages as even though their new defensive structure has been put into place, it cannot be fully refined yet as players need to learn how to play within the new schema.
Moving forward, other teams that may be taking on Pirates in the near future should consider this a weakness as Jonevret’s players are still ‘passive defending’, with no aggression to win the ball.
Chiefs’ key plays on the day were Itumeleng Khune, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Eric Mathoho.
Willard Katsande had good game until he missed the penalty in the 83rd minute which could have been the game changer for Chiefs.
All in all, the Derby did not disappoint when it came to football entertainment for the masses, although in my opinion, a fair final score would have seen Pirates come out victorious as they created the most chances on the day.
On a separate subject, but still in keeping with football, we are celebrating International Woman’s Day this week and I would like to pay tribute to some women I feel have had an impact on South African football over the years.
Desiree Ellis, the founding member of the South African women's national football team, is one name that stands out.
Ms Ellis has, over the years, received many awards, including the Safa Special Recognition Gold Award and the Presidential Sports Silver Award, just to mention a few, for her dedication and contribution to women’s football.
Through her hard work and dedication to the game, she has also been appointed the interim coach for the Banyana Banyana team and is a top contender for the coach’s position.
Janine van Wyk, who currently plays for Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League, also deserves a mention as she holds the title of most capped South African football player of any gender, reaching 125 caps for the South African women's national football team.
To women the world over, Happy International Woman’s Day ……………..Till next week!
Congratulations to Goal.com columnist Shuaib Walters for his inclusion in the latest Bafana Bafana squad!
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