In this game, both teams came with an obvious plan. Pirates stuck to their game model of the last 18 months and got rewarded for having very clear patterns of play and co-ordinated movements. Despite that, they created very few clear-cut chances, but they kept plugging away and eventually found the winner after a big impact from substitute Mulenga, who had three shot assists in just 22 minutes on the pitch. Chiefs had a plan to park the bus and play on the break, but they looked disjointed and unstructured with the midfield unable to connect the team to the attack. If either Katsande or Maluleka were not open, the defenders went direct to Castro. Players like Billiat and Manyama were wasted in such a defensive set-up, and the omission of Ntshangase was a huge blow to Chiefs’ passing game. Going forward, Solinas has numerous issues to contend with, from a leaky defence, to a slow midfield, to a lack of quality in wide areas, to a reliance on Billiat. Pirates are still struggling to break down teams who sit back and don’t engage them, and their defenders’ lack of speed and passing ability is still an aspect they could address in coming transfer windows. With Nyatama and Mlambo winning the midfield battle in this game, Pirates were worthy winners. They at least looked to play on the front foot, whereas Chiefs played like a complete underdog.