Home Sport Mathoho’s late winner hands Chiefs derby bragging rights

Mathoho’s late winner hands Chiefs derby bragging rights

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Reeve Frosler of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates after scoring the opening goal during their DStv Premiership match against Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg on Saturday
Reeve Frosler of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates after scoring the opening goal during their DStv Premiership match against Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg on Saturday. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs defenders Reeve Frosler and Eric Mathoho both found the back of the net as Stuart Baxter’s men overcame Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

Cape Town — Kaizer Chiefs managed three successive league wins over their Soweto Derby rivals on Saturday afternoon when they ran out 2-1 winners at Orlando Stadium after leading 1-0 at halftime.

The last time Chiefs secured three successive league wins against their rivals was in the 1991-92 season when the AmaKhosi reigned supreme in domestic competition.

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This was a rare league defeat for Pirates at their Orlando fortress, and in three seasons only Mamelodi Sundowns were able to inflict a league defeat there.

The match had all the spills and thrills of the traditional derby, and it was a travesty of justice that the fans were locked out from this showpiece.

Straight from the opening centre, the Chiefs’ midfield were able to impose their superiority in the midfield. As a consequence, they managed several attacks into the opposition half.

There was a distinct lack of cohesion in the final third and surrendered possession before they could create scoring chances.

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Chiefs’ high press in the opening 15 minutes did not cause problems but strikers Bernard Parker and Khama Billiat combined forces to set up the opening goal in the 18th minute.

Parker picked up a crossfield kick from deep out on the right and when Chiefs defence closed in, he slipped the ball to Parker. There was little Parker could do other than reel out a feed to midfielder Reeve Frosler, whose ripsnorter from 35 metres out sailed into the roof of the Pirates net (1-0).

Pirates who had taken some time to settle down were stung into action by this setback. Their retort was almost immediate when they broke down the centre of the field with Ghanaian striker Kwame Peprah at the end of the move. His parting shot very nearly produced the equaliser, but it ended up in the side netting.

Around the half-hour mark, Billiat was again in the picture for Chiefs. This time he laid a defence-splitting feed for Dolly who ran in a slipped the ball wide of the Pirates keeper Siyabonga Mpontshane. However, the effort came to nought assistant referee raised the flag for offside.

Chiefs were forced to make an early change when Billiat suffered a hamstring injury and substitute Kearyn Baccus joined the fray in the 38th minute.

A minute later the acrobatic Peprah brought off a spectacular header and although it flew wide of Chiefs’ diving keeper Brandon Petersen the effort was ruled offside and Chiefs held out to keep their 1-0 lead intact by the time referee Masixole Bambiso brought an end to the first half.

At the start of the first half, Chiefs midfielder Lebogang Manyama made way for substitute Leonardo Castro and five minutes later, he rifled a shot at goal after a fine feed from Parker. Castro’s shot whistled past the upright.

Pirates also made a second-half substitution which saw Abel Mabaso coming on for defensive midfielder Ben Motshwari.

Just ahead of the hour mark, Pirates finally opened their score through a goal by Peprah who showed fine composure as the Chiefs defence failed to deal with a cross by Thabang Monare (1-1).

The goal fuelled Pirates’ efforts in midfield and for a while, they held the upper hand without managing to capitalise.

After both sets of defences survived close calls, Chiefs defender Eric Mathoho intervened with great authority. He stepped up into the striking zone for a Chiefs corner. When Dolly’s set-piece kick arrived, he was left unmarked and calmly nodded to the ball home for eventually turned out to be the match-winner.

@Herman_Gibbs

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