For Pirates, whose players burst into celebration after the final whistle, this was a much-needed win as it eased the pressure on coach Jose Riveiro.
Kaizer Chiefs‘ five-game winning streak over arch-rivals Orlando Pirates in the DStv Premiership ended at a sold-out FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon as they lost 1-0.
With this result, Chiefs’ struggles continued as they dropped down to eighth on the log having lost their sixth game, to trail leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by 12 points.
It was a result that also put a stain on a lot of things, including the induction of club chairman Kazier Motaung and return of their fans to the stadium after their ban.
And for Pirates, whose players burst into celebration after the final whistle, this was a much-needed win as it eased the pressure on coach Jose Riveiro.
The Spaniard had guided his team to a rough patch in the league and was therefore expected to win this game if he’s to try and catch-up on Sundowns in the title race.
And they duly obliged as the 178th derby didn’t only live up to the billing of being the country’s biggest sporting event on the pitch through an emotional game.
🥅 20' Makgopa
— Orlando Pirates (@orlandopirates) November 11, 2023
But off the pitch too. In SA ahead of today’s AFL final, football’s royalty, Fifa president Gianni Infantino and his Caf counterpart Patrice Motsepe, graced the derby.
Their attendance even more befitting as this match also honoured Chiefs’ founder and Pirates’ legend Kaizer Motaung who was inducted into the SA Hall of Fame.
And as a way of celebrating their chairman, Chiefs’ players were expected to carry the festivities into the pitch and dominate from start to finish. But it wasn’t to be.
The script seemed to be going according to plan early, though, as they had an advantage, with Evidence Makgopa receiving a yellow card in the first two minutes.
That’s not all. Pirates endured some frailties as Thabiso Monyane and Kermit Erasmus suffered injuries inside the first 20 minutes and had to be substituted.
But what followed that wasn’t only a deficit that the hosts trailing 1-0 into the break but a derby that the Chiefs team would be embarrassed of.
Monyane’s replacement Bandile Shandu got a pass from the midfield before bypassing his marker to place the ball on the far post where Makgopa tapped home.
It was another derby record to forget for Chiefs’ goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune who has now only kept four clean sheets in his last 28 matches against Pirates.
⚽️ 𝔾𝕆𝔸𝕃 ⚽️
Evidence Makgopa gets an opener for the Sea Robbers,
𝐊𝐚𝐢𝐳𝐞𝐫 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐟𝐬 0⃣➖1⃣ 𝐎𝐫𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐨 𝐏𝐢𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬
— SABC Sport (@SABC_Sport) November 11, 2023
Pirates’ dream start continued as they dominated with ease, looking to score with every inroad into a Chiefs defence which was all over the place.
It was as if those early frailties didn’t seem to have hurt them in the slightest, instead they brought some vigour into their game-plan in the first half.
Such that Relebohile Mofokeng who replaced Erasmus came close to doubling Pirates’ tally after a team move, but his shot was tipped over the crossbar by Khune.
And with the second half started with Johnson having long rolled up his sleeve and put his double breasted blazer away, Chiefs needed to find a response.
They came close to doing that as Edson Castillo, who had joined the attacking numbers, rattled the upright from the edge of the box after Edmilson Dove’s cross.
But it is not to say Pirates had switched into defensive mode. Far from it. Pirates looked to score with every attack, especially with Chiefs’ heavily relying on Castillo.
The Venezuelan huffed and puffed for the equaliser, but it wasn’t to be as Pirates ended their five-game losing streak to Chiefs in the DStv Premiership.