Ndoro sinks Amakhosi
ORLANDO PIRATES (0) 2 KAIZER CHIEFS (0) 0 TENDAI Ndoro’s lightning secondhalf brace earned Orlando Pirates entry in the Nedbank Cup last-16 and victory in this early-round Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs.
If Ndoro had begun to earn hero status with Pirates’ Ghost in the stands with a brace in a 3-1 win against Mpumalanga Black Aces in Mbombela two weeks ago, he went a long way to becoming their darling yesterday.
The slick Zimbabwean striker a bit-part player in Bucs’ battling season while Kermit Erasmus and Thamsanqa Gabuza were in form early on struck in the 76th and 84th minutes to keep Pirates’ chances of a trophy in 2015-16 alive, and dash Chiefs’.
Only 50 000 tickets were sold for the fifth including the pre-season Black Label Cup Soweto derby this season. In tough economic times, filling 94 000-seater FNB five times in a season for the same match is proving a challenge for the PSL.
If the build-up to the game in the press, and the reaction of the fans, was somewhat tired, so to some extent was the action on the field.
Chiefs were structurally the better team, and shaded possession. But Pirates’ front-line always looked the more dangerous when threatening Amakhosi’s penalty area. They took advantage of this in convincing fashion through Ndoro in the second half.
The two teams came into the game in varying degrees of improved form. Pirates had won two in a row to edge up to seventh place in the PSL.
Chiefs had found a greater fluency to their game in their last 10 matches, only a fine goalkeeping performance by George Chigova denying Amakhosi a sixth straight league win in their 1-1 draw against Polokwane City here on Saturday.
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Pirates Eric Tinkler brought in Ntsikelelo Nyauza at right-back, moving Thabo Matlaba to the left and dropping Patrick Phungwayo. Ndoro started up-front ahead of Lehlohonolo Majoro from Bucs’ 1-0 win league win against Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando Stadium a week before.
For Chiefs, Steve Komphela brought in Morgan Gould for suspended centre-back Lorenzo Gordinho and Kgotso Moleko at right-back for Daniel Cardoso.
Chiefs perhaps edged the first half, though Pirates were the more dangerous in the final third.
Bucs started brightly. Ndoro’s run past two defenders down the left ended with the striker forcing a close-range save from Reyaad Pieterse.
From Ndoro’s ball across goal Gould made a crucial intercept when Gift Motupa would only have had to finish into an open goal at the far post. In the 31st Parker took Moleko s chip from right midfield on his chest but the Chiefs forward was hesitant and could not produce a shot or find a teammate with a pass.
Siphiwe Tshabalala collected the ball on the left and his curling shot was parried by a diving Brighton Mhlongo.
George Maluleka’s chip was controlled in the middle and touched on by Tshabalala to Parker. The out-of-touch striker had time to steady himself but still shot wide of the upright.
After the break Maluleka had the ball at his feet with two players free alongside him 40 metres out, but could not get his pass away, which was symptomatic of Chiefs’ indecision in good positions.
Parker s shot from range was feet wide as Chiefs appeared to hold an ascendancy.
But Pirates had always looked the more dangerous team around their opposition’s box. They broke the deadlock when, after substitute Thabo Qalinge’s run in from the left of the area was blocked, Mpho Makola s deft little chip in found Ndoro in a huge gap between the centre-backs and left-back. The Zimbabwean controlled and blasted in on the half volley.
Ndoro sealed his newfound love affair with the Pirates faithful when, after a touch-on by Qalinge from a free-kick on the left, the Zimbabwean took the ball on and hit a stinging, skidding low drive that fooled its way between Chiefs keeper Reyaad Pieterse and the right upright.
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