AN­OTHER DERBY, AN­OTHER DRAW

Both sides des­per­ately needed a win yes­ter­day – Chiefs to chal­lenge for the ti­tle and Bucs to stay clear of rel­e­ga­tion. A well-fought stale­mate was the re­sult

CityPress - - Front Page - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI at FNB Sta­dium ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Two points lost is the best way to de­scribe this en­counter. The sin­gle one gained by ei­ther team is not likely to ease the pres­sure on the coaches. The fact that Pi­rates and Chiefs have both now sur­ren­dered five points in two matches is a mea­sure of their level of per­for­mance this sea­son.

Soweto gi­ants Pi­rates and Chiefs came to this en­counter on the back of de­feats to Jomo Cos­mos and Plat­inum Stars, re­spec­tively.

They each needed the three points for dif­fer­ent rea­sons – but it was not to be af­ter ad­mit­tedly good show­ings yes­ter­day.

With both coaches – the Bucs’ Eric Tin­kler and Amakhosi’s Steve Kom­phela – com­ing into this game un­der pres­sure to get a re­sult, a draw was the last thing they would have signed for at the start.

Nei­ther team took their chances, es­pe­cially the hosts, Bucs, who dom­i­nated the game in the se­cond half.

Chiefs were strong in the first half, in which they scored their goal through man of the match Wil­lard Kat­sande, but then it was the Buc­ca­neers’ show all the way. Pi­rates should and could have taken all the points on of­fer but had to set­tle for a draw af­ter a Tham­sanqa Gabuza header lev­elled mat­ters.

Chiefs suf­fered a set­back af­ter goal­keeper Itume­leng Khune was stretchered off in the 68th minute, im­me­di­ately af­ter con­ced­ing the goal.

Khune was mak­ing his re­turn to the side af­ter be­ing side­lined with a knee in­jury since Novem­ber.

Pi­rates will feel hard done by fol­low­ing their sec­ond­half per­for­mance. Tin­kler would have been far hap­pier with the team that showed up for the fi­nal stanza, while Kom­phela still has a lot of work to do with his strike force, as Camal­dine Abraw was again not lethal enough in front of goal.

The pitch was in a mag­nif­i­cent state, look­ing ready for en­ter­tain­ing foot­ball, and the teams did not dis­ap­point, start­ing on a high.

It was a per­fect day, as the weather was clear, with no chance of rain. A near-ca­pac­ity crowd hop­ing for a flood of goals had to con­tent them­selves with the two they got.

His­tory al­ways counts for noth­ing when it comes to the Soweto derby, and the fact that both sides lost their pre­vi­ous en­coun­ters be­fore this game mat­tered even less. Far more than the brag­ging rights were at stake this time. Chiefs needed to win to ap­ply pres­sure on the lead­ing pack of par­tic­u­larly Mamelodi Sun­downs and Bid­vest Wits, while Pi­rates needed to move away from the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

What the coaches had told their troops was ev­i­dent at the start – go and fight for the win.

Pi­rates were the first to make their in­ten­tions clear, as they forced two quick cor­ners in the open­ing min­utes. They were un­lucky not to be ahead in the 24th af­ter Issa Sarr’s goal was dis­al­lowed by ref­eree Phillip Tinyani. This af­ter Thabo Qalinge had taken the free kick be­fore the whis­tle and found him­self cau­tioned.

Chiefs struck a few min­utes later when Zim­bab­wean in­ter­na­tional Kat­sande, un­marked at the back post, slot­ted home from a Siphiwe Tsha­bal­ala cor­ner kick.

Gabuza, who had scored here in the first round, cap­i­talised on some de­fen­sive frail­ties in Chiefs’ rear­guard to force the draw.

Both coaches will prob­a­bly feel a draw was a fair re­sult, al­though that won’t re­lieve any of the pres­sure they’re un­der.

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

BLACK AND GOLD

Kaizer Chiefs’ Wil­liam Twala and Or­lando Pi­rates’ Thabo Mat­laba at FNB Sta­dium yes­ter­day af­ter­noon

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