Durban – Another match-day, another disappointing outing for the Soweto giants!
Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs were forced to salvage a point each from their respective DStv Premiership matches after their 1-all draws with Cape Town City and AmaZulu on Saturday.
Last weekend, Pirates were beaten 2-0 by champions Mamelodi Sundowns at home as they came back down to earth following their 3-1 win over Chippa United. Chiefs, on the other hand, drew with the lowly ranked Marumo Gallants away from home.
Coach-less, following the resignation of Josef Zinnbauer early in August, Pirates have been inconsistent under caretaker coaches Fadlu Davids and Mandla Ncikazi – as the duo is still implementing their respective philosophies in the Bucs’ team.
Against the Citizens, they fielded, arguably, their consistent team – albeit handing a full start to centre-back Olisa Ndah who replaced Thulani Hlatshwayo. That consistent line-up, moreover, proved to pay dividends as they took the lead in the 15th minute.
Vincent Pule whipped in a telling corner-kick which was cleared by the Citizens’ defence back to Paseka Mako who returned the ball to a free Pule. Pule sent another cross, picking out Happy Jele who freely headed home past goalie Hugo Marques.
The Citizens continued to dominate possession. But were unfortunate as they couldn’t find the breakthrough, with the Bucs’ defence standing firm. Mduduzi Mdantsane's long-range effort sailed wide of goal as Pirates went into the interval ahead.
But a quick pressing football from City saw the home side earn a penalty early in the second half after Terrence Mashego's shot came off the arm of Ndah. Up stepped Mdantsane who passed the ball into the net, leaving Siyabonga Mpontshane flat-footed.
City, though, will be disappointed by the result especially after coming on the back of a 4-0 thrashing of Swallows FC away in the second leg of the MTN8 semi-final as they progressed to the final where they’ll meet Mamelodi Sundowns on the 30th.
Meanwhile, a last-minute penalty goal from Keagan Dolly earned Kaizer Chiefs a dramatic 1-1 draw with AmaZulu in an entertaining game at the Kings Park Stadium in Durban.
Chiefs were controversially awarded a penalty in second half stoppage time when replays suggested that there was no handball by any Usuthu player.
Usuthu earlier took the lead through Luyuvo Memela who scored his first goal of the season in the 47th minute as he met a pinpoint pass from team-mate Keagan Buchanan before calmly slotting beyond the reach of Chiefs keeper Daniel Akpeyi.
The first good opportunity fell to Chiefs in the 22nd minute. Some beautiful interplay from the Amakhosi led to Khama Billiat picking out team-mate Keagan Dolly who forced a brilliant save from Usuthu keeper Veli Mothwa from close range.
Three minutes later Bernard Parker used his intelligence to pick out Cole Alexander with a pass. Using his weaker foot, the experienced Alexander connected but his effort was too weak to trouble Mothwa.
Just a minute thereafter, Chiefs’ keeper Akpeyi was forced into a spectacular save of his own. Mbongeni Gumede whipped in a ball for Usuthu which was met by Sandile Khumalo and Akpeyi made a vital save from close range.
Mothwa was again to the rescue on the stroke of half time as Khama Billiat pounced on poor defending from Keagan Buchanan and struck a rocket of a shot which forced good reflexes from the Usuthu number one.
Memela had an opportunity to double his tally shortly after scoring in the second half but Akpeyi got the better of him with a smart save from close range.
In what will be promising for AmaZulu, they have now scored in their last three consecutive games after having failed to score in their opening three games of the season. Usuthu also welcomed back one of their key players from last season who made his return from injury and was introduced as substitute for Memela late in the game.