Soweto derby a damp squib

Sunday World - - SPORT - TSHEPANG MAILWANE at FNB Sta­dium

IT has come to a point where a draw is no longer a sur­prise in the Soweto derby.

Any­one who takes a bus, train, taxi or car to FNB Sta­dium ex­pect­ing a bar­rage of goals from Or­lando Pi­rates and Kaizer Chiefs is frankly just fool­ing them­selves. These two teams have taken the ex­cite­ment out of a derby and they did it again when they met yes­ter­day in a goal­less draw.

There were a num­ber of empty seats in the sta­dium, which is usu­ally packed when these sides meet. This was per­haps a sign that some sup­port­ers are not will­ing to put them­selves to the tor­ture of no goals or no win­ner. The goal­keep­ers Brighton

– Mh­longo of Pi­rates and Chiefs

’ Itume­leng Khune had lit­tle to do in

– the first half as both sets of play­ers wasted op­por­tu­ni­ties that re­ally should have been on tar­get.

The worst of the missed chances was by far that of Amakhosi mid­fielder Pule Ek­stein, whose at­tempt at a vol­ley from close range went over the bar in first-half stop­page time.

Amakhosi set­tled quicker than the hosts, pa­tiently build­ing from the back in the hope that they would find an open­ing in the Bucs de­fence. Ek­stein and Kea­gan Buchanan, who was play­ing in his first Soweto derby, were pass­ing the ball around with ease but the only prob­lem was that their passes were not re­ally hurt­ing Pi­rates be­cause they would ei­ther go side­ways or back­wards.

Op­por­tu­ni­ties were few for Amakhosi, but it was no dif­fer­ent for Pi­rates, who had to make changes to their start­ing line-up.

Riyaad Noro­dien came in for the ill Lu­vuyo Memela just be­fore the game started.

And it was a bril­liant pass from Noro­dien, on the counter at­tack, which forced Khune into his first save of the game in the 23rd minute, as the Bafana Bafana num­ber one came off his line to deny an in­ef­fec­tive Thabo Rakhale.

Without cap­tain Oupa Many­isa in mid­field, Pi­rates were not quite set­tled in mid­field. In Many­isa s place, Pi­rates coach

’ Muhsin Er­tu­gral started with Gift Mo­tupa. The na­tional un­der-23 player looked rusty, but he could not be blamed as he last played against Cape Town City last month, when he went off early in the first half with an in­jury.

Mo­tupa had two good chances early in the sec­ond half. The first one a long-range ef­fort was saved

– – by Khune and the sec­ond one was just a bad miss from close range. He re­ally should have done bet­ter with the ef­fort af­ter he was played in by Tendai Ndoro, but the shot was rushed and it went aim­lessly over the bar.

Mo­tupa went down af­ter the hour mark with what looked like cramps, re­placed by Bernard Mor­ri­son.

Both sides pushed for a win­ner in the late stages of the match, without any luck. Both sets of sup­port­ers left the sta­dium dis­ap­pointed and prob­a­bly feel­ing cheated for the money spent.

Chiefs moved back to the top of the ta­ble with this re­sult, on 14 points.

In other PSL matches last night, Ajax Cape Town 0 Su­per­Sport United 2; Bloem­fontein Celtic 1 Bid­vest Wits 2.

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