Derby draw was pure spec­ta­cle!

Sides gave all and sup­port­ers saw a game that will be re­mem­bered

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

This was ex­pected. When Mamelodi Sun­downs coach Pitso Mosi­mane ear­lier this week pre­dicted this game would be a draw, many thought he was just be­ing his usual ar­ro­gant self. But he was right, as a draw in the Soweto derby proved a fore­gone con­clu­sion. It is not dif­fi­cult to see why, be­cause nei­ther side wanted to lose and both gave equally to win.

The only dif­fer­ence be­tween this draw and many oth­ers is that it was a highly riv­et­ing game. Both sides put up a se­ri­ous fight – they did not let go, and did not want to dis­ap­point their sup­port­ers.

Chiefs should have stolen all three points, but Brighton Mh­longo save a spot kick by Wil­lard Kat­sande. It was a brave call by as­sis­tant ref­eree Zakhele Si­wela to point to the spot af­ter Ayanda Gcaba was ad­judged to have han­dled in­side the box. But jus­tice was done, and Mh­longo saved their blushes.

Both sides may feel these are two points lost, as they both needed the three points for var­i­ous rea­sons. For Chiefs, the draw might be seen as a se­ri­ous dent in their ti­tle am­bi­tions, as they are now three points adrift of log lead­ers Cape Town City. They needed the points to close the gap and keep pres­sure at the top, while Pi­rates, for their part, are still stuck in the bot­tom half of the log, where they feel they do not be­long.

Pi­rates’ new coach Kjell Jonevret should be happy with his charges for their spec­tac­u­lar dis­play. But the Swede still has a long way to go if he is to achieve his goal of sav­ing the Bucs’ ship.

It seems as if the two teams heard the sup­port­ers’ plea for a great game when as they dished out great per­for­mances yes­ter­day af­ter­noon. This kind of match was long over­due for both sides. It was wor­thy of a Soweto derby – one that will take time to be erased from sup­port­ers’ minds.

Hav­ing last won a game in Novem­ber, Pi­rates did not show any signs of a team go­ing through a bad patch. This is what the Soweto derby does to play­ers – it brings out the best in them. Bucs play­ers looked far more mo­ti­vated than usual as they took the game to the host, who had goal­keeper Itume­leng Khune to thank for two great saves be­fore they scored on the other side.

The coun­try’s num­ber one was at his best to deny Dové Womé and Tham­sanqa Gabuza within five min­utes of one another. Pi­rates were on top of their game and kept Chiefs un­der in­tense pres­sure.

How­ever, they had to con­cede against the run of play, as Chiefs struck first through a for­mer Pi­rates player Joseph Molan­goane, who had the eas­i­est tap to put Amakhosi ahead. The speedy winger looked more pos­sessed play­ing against his for­mer team-mates as he nearly scored a sec­ond goal only for goal­keeper Mh­longo to thwart his ef­fort.

But Pi­rates didn’t give up and duly found their equaliser in the 33rd minute through a freak goal by Them­binkosi Lorch. It was a soft goal to con­cede for Khune, who had no busi­ness to let it in.

It was an end-to-end spec­ta­cle that kept the sup­port­ers on their feet through­out.

Even though the derby ended in a draw, it was a far bet­ter sight than pre­vi­ous draws.

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

SCRAM­BLE Kaizer Chiefs’ Wil­lard Kat­sande and Or­lando Pi­rates’ Oupa Many­isa fight for pos­ses­sion dur­ing their match at FNB Sta­dium yes­ter­day

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