Serbian Samir Nurkovic scored the only goal of the game as Kaizer Chiefs beat Orlando Pirates in their DStv Premiership clash at the FNB Stadium on Sunday.
DURBAN – Samir Nurkovic’s wonder-strike from an overhead kick in the 54th minute made the difference as Kaizer Chiefs earned a morale-boosting 1-0 win over arch-rivals Orlando Pirates in the 100th Soweto derby at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on Sunday afternoon.
Though Pirates captain Thulani Hlatwayo got the better of Nurkovic in the majority of tussles between the duo, a rare moment of hesitancy from the 31-year-old contributed to the world-class goal.
The goal which will go down as one of the all-time great Soweto derby strikes was only Nurkovic’s second of the season and the Serb also ended a two-month goal drought, having previously scored against AmaZulu in January.
The result marked the first time that Amakhosi coach Gavin Hunt has achieved a win against the Sea Robbers as Chiefs coach as his other previous three games against them resulted in convincing losses.
In what was a rather tame and unmemorable first-half, the game was fairly boring for the majority of the opening of the first half. Pirates who headed into the game in good form and as favourites appeared to be lacking tempo in their game and Chiefs tactics suggested that they were prepared to settle for a draw as they really pressed and defended in numbers.
Pirates did do a good job to contain the threat of Nurkovic who appeared to have two to three men marking him whenever Chiefs got the ball to their striker.
In the 41st minute, Pirates captain Thulani Hlatswayo showed why he is regarded as one of the best defensive players in South Africa as he produced a vital interception to prevent a ball that likely would have been turned into a goal from reaching Nurkovic.
The tempo of the game came to life after the goal as Pirates started playing more attacking and open football whilst Chiefs appeared to respond by defending in higher numbers.
Substitute Fortune Makaringe took advantage of slack defending from Eric Mathoho in the 67th minute before striking his effort wide.
Nurkovic ended up wasting a good opportunity to kill off the game in the 77th minute as Happy Mashiane provided him with a brilliantly timed forward pass which he ended up blasting wide.
Not only would the result be a bad taste in the mouth of most Pirates fans, considering it came against their arch-rivals, but it also would be a bitter pill to swallow for the Sea Robbers as it ended a run of three wins from four games without defeat.
Meanwhile, the result would have been a welcome relief for Chiefs as it sees them ending a run of seven league games without defeat. The result marked the Glamour Boys’ first league win since a 3-0 thrashing of Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in January.