Orlando Pirates’ Thembinkosi Lorch and Siphesihle Ndlovu both found the back of the net, while Kaizer Chiefs’ Samir Nurkovic missed a penalty in Saturday’s Soweto Derby.
JOHANNESBURG – Another Soweto derby, another win for Orlando Pirates.
Much has been Pirates’ success story over Kaizer Chiefs that they’ve been victorious over their nemesis in the last three meetings this season, twice in the MTN8 and yesterday in their 99th DStv Premiership clash.
In an encounter that was hosted at a sticky Orlando Stadium, Pirates claimed the bragging rights through goals from Thembinkosi Lorch and Siphesihle Ndlovu in either half, while Daniel Cardoso gave Chiefs the consolation with five minutes to spare.
This win took Pirates to 25 points, five behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. Chiefs, on the other hand, who had a better start to both halves were made to rue their chances as their five-game purple path came to an end, remaining eighth on the standings with a paltry 18-point tally.
Having enjoyed a five-game unbeaten streak coming to this encounter, after three wins and two draws, Chiefs had shown glimpses of resurgence, with coach Gavin Hunt sending out a stable starting line-up.
In yesterday’s encounter, he made two changes to that team that drew with Baroka FC at home, Njabulo Blom and Kearyn Baccus starting ahead of Happy Mashiane and Erick Mathoho as he added more depth in the engine room.
Such that, that feat should have paid dividends midway through the first half when Chiefs made a foray into Pirates final third. Against the run of play, Lebogang Manyama released Samir Nurkovic, on the far right, who unleashed a hard low shot towards goal.
But goalkeeper Richard Ofori failed to collect comfortably, allowing the loose ball to fall to Ngcobo who set-up Manyama. The latter unleashed a shot that blasted against Thulani Hlatshwayo for a rebound which fell back to Manyama who unceremoniously tip-toed his effort wide of goal.
Soon thereafter, Reeve Frosler picked out Nurkovic with a long diagonal ball and the latter opted to strike from the outset but his effort sailed wide of the target, having been under pressure from Hlatshwayo.
With Chiefs dictating terms, where were Pirates all along? The Bucs were enduring a turbulent time in their breakthrough attempt, having their final balls been mostly judged for offside. But their persistence to beat the offside trap finally paid dividends.
Happy Jele unleashed a high-long ball towards Chiefs’ final third that Frosler flicked towards his own goals as it unceremoniously set free Lorch. The Pirates’ talisman rattled his initial shot against goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi before passing the loose ball into an empty net.
Chiefs, though, started the second half with how they started the first, sending forays into the Pirates final third as they were boosted by the introduction of Happy Mashiane for Ngcobo. The former’s introduction proved to be fruitful for Chiefs for the outset.
Mashiane won a penalty for his side after being brought down by Ben Motshwari on the edge of the penalty area. Nurkovic step-up to take the responsibility and forced Ofori to a one-hand save before the rebound fell to Siyabonga Ngezana who unceremoniously hit the side-netting instead of an open net.
Chiefs chased for the equaliser but they were taken off their rails when substitute Ndlovu rattled the roof of the net with 10 minutes to play after being teed up by Paseka Mako. But Chiefs were not going down without a fight, Cardoso pulling one back from close-range.