Chiefs stay top after derby stalemate
Orlando Pirates failed to move equal on points with Kaizer Chiefs after Lehlohonolo Majoro cancelled out Collins Mbesuma’s goal to see the Absa Premiership Soweto derby end 1-1 at the FNB Stadium.
Kaizer Chiefs were looking to reclaim the glory after seeing the last derby go in favour of the Buccaneers, but they knew that even a narrow loss would see them still remain on top of the league table due to goal difference.
The opening stanza of the game was a rather cagey affair, with neither side having forced their opposing goalkeeper to make any significant save.
Chiefs were left reaping their errors, 21 minutes in, when they gave away the ball in the middle of the park, which saw Oupa Manyisa gather it before supplying it up field.
Collins Mbesuma was on the receiving end of the pass, where he turned and slotted a low angular drive past Itumeleng Khune.
That goal seemed to add a bit more life into the game as Chiefs nearly pulled one back, on the half hour, when Daine Klate pushed away an effort on the line from a Lehlohonolo Majoro shot inside the box.
Mbesuma nearly made the scoreline 2-0, seven minutes before the break, when he showed sharpness by turning and slotting the ball into the back of the net again – only for his effort to be blown offside.
Stuart Baxter opted to make a change right at the start of the second half by bringing on George Lebese in place of Josta Dladla.
Chiefs came out with their guns blazing and they managed to convert their chance in the 59th minute. Majoro managed to work his way into the box before dummying his marker and slotting it into the back of the net, leaving Senzo Meyiwa helpless.
Itumeleng Khune nearly handed Pirates a second goal when he rushed off his line to gather the ball, only for the shot-stopper to drop it and see it hit towards goal. Fortunately for him, he managed to rush back and snatch the aerial ball.
Last season’s Man of the Match, Benni McCarthy, was brought into the fray in order to change up the game when he replaced Mbesuma upfront.
The game needed a dramatic finish and McCarthy nearly handed it to Pirates when he struck a bicycle kick towards goal, but it painstakingly inched just over the bar with eight minutes remaining.
Orlando Pirates (1) 1 (Mbesuma 21’)
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Majoro 59’)
Orlando Pirates: Meyiwa, Sangweni, Lekgwathi, Matlaba, Jele, Segolela (Mbuyane 83’), Manyisa, Jali, Myeni, Klate (Ntshumayelo 79’), Mbesuma (McCarthy 70’)
Kaizer Chiefs: Khune,Gaxa, Mathoho, Mashamaite, Masilela, Dladla (Lebese 46’), Katsande, Letsholonyane, Tshabalala, Majoro (Nkthatha 72’), Parker (Rusike 84’)