Kaizer Chiefs interim coach Cavin Johnson paid considerable credit to Orlando Pirates after the men in black were victorious in the much-hyped Soweto Derby at FNB Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Kaizer Chiefs interim coach Cavin Johnson accepted defeat as his side lost their Soweto Derby bragging rights to Orlando Pirates in the DStv Premiership at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
The 179th instalment of the Soweto Derby saw the Buccaneers break their horrid run of five league defeats against Amakhosi through a solitary first-half goal by Evidence Makgopa.
The Sea Robbers were dealt two huge early blows as they were forced into making two injury-forced substitutions inside 18 minutes.
However, those changes proved a blessing in disguise, as two minutes after coming on, Bandile Shandu set up the opening goal of the match, which was scored by the Bafana Bafana striker.
We’ll come back
Johnson, who took charge of his third game at Chiefs, and his first Soweto Derby, shook the hands of his team’s rivals and shouldered the defeat, but promised his side would return for revenge.
“I think it was a game of two halves but I think we had a nice chance at the beginning, but they picked up and scored. I think we were OK in the second half and we should have scored later in the half, but it was not to be,” he told SuperSport.
“Congratulations to Orlando Pirates, they have the bragging rights now, but we’ll come back. I’m sure the way we want to play and how some of the players played today, we can only get better, but we need to be a lot calmer.”
Johnson saw a renewed Chiefs side emerge for the second half, after he made distinctive substitutions.
Edson Castillo, who was a menace throughout the match, got closest to scoring an equaliser as his header ricocheted off the upright in the 66th minute.
The 65-year-old Johnson felt some of his starting players could not handle the pressure of the 87,000-attended spectacle rather than missing the required energy.
“I don’t think we missed it (energy), sometimes the occasion can do that to you but after the substitutes come in after reading the game, they do bring a lot of energy.”
Pirates managed the encounter
In the opposing dugout, it was both joy and relief as Pirates snatched a first league victory over Chiefs since 2021, and also won back-to-back league games for the first time this season.
Pirates coach Jose Riveiro lauded the application and determination of his players, as his side managed the high-stakes encounter until the last moments.
“It was the efforts of the players, we are a collective, we try to do things in a way that ensures we always improve, we had good moments of football in the first half and we capitalised on one of the chances,” he said in his post-match interview.
“All the credit should go to the guys off the bench to contribute, as well as keep things in order until the end.”