Buc­ca­neers reign supreme

Con­fi­dent Chiefs fail to de­liver

Sunday World - - Sport - By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

Kaizer Chiefs sup­port­ers came to FNB Sta­dium yes­ter­day con­fi­dent their team would win, but what hap­pened on the field was a dif­fer­ent story.

The Buc­ca­neers came from be­hind to win 2-1 with goals from In­no­cent Maela and Vin­cent Pule, on his maiden Derby out­ing. Khama Bil­liat drew first blood early in the first half, but Pi­rates ral­lied to find their two goals, which were enough to seal vic­tory. Bil­liat’s opener was the per­fect start for the Phe­feni Glam­our Boys af­ter Mpontshane fum­bled a cross just 15 min­utes in and the ball came off the Zim­bab­wean.

More im­por­tantly, it was ex­actly what the club’s 12th man was look­ing for, hav­ing been the most vo­cal be­fore the start of the match. When the play­ers came out to in­spect the pitch and later on for warm up, there was no guess­ing who got the big­gest cheer, with Chiefs sup­port­ers in their el­e­ment. But af­ter fall­ing be­hind, Pi­rates’ re­sponse was swift where it mat­tered most – on the field.

With Chiefs’s de­fence in sixes and sevens, they were there for the tak­ing. First, Chiefs had a lucky es­cape when Justin Shonga’s spot kick was saved by Itume­leng Khune in the 26th minute. Shonga’s coun­try­man Au­gus­tine Mu­lenga had been brought down in the box by Siyabonga Ngezana.

Chiefs’s cel­e­bra­tion was cut short. It took Pi­rates just three min­utes to get the equaliser through de­fender Maela in the 29th minute.

With Chiefs now on the ropes, the Pi­rates party con­tin­ued. Shonga com­bined bril­liantly with Mu­lenga, whose fi­nal ball reached Pule and he did the rest with an easy tap-in.

The sec­ond half was more of a tac­ti­cal bat­tle, with Pi­rates look­ing to de­fend their lead and Chiefs fight­ing to get back into the game. Leonardo Cas­tro let Chiefs down when he fired straight to Mpontshane just two min­utes af­ter the restart. Chiefs were then re­duced to call­ing for sub­sti­tu­tions. On the Chiefs bench, coach Gio­vanni Soli­nas re­sponded by tak­ing off Bernard Parker and in­tro­duc­ing Hen­drick Ek­stein just af­ter the hour mark.

Ryan Moon and Ka­belo Mahlasela later re­placed Cas­tro and Bil­liat re­spec­tively.

Bucs men­tor Mi­cho Sre­do­je­vic’s first sub­sti­tu­tion – mid­fielder Linda Mn­tambo for Justin Shonga, was a clear in­di­ca­tion he was shut­ting the back door. Af­ter this, there was no way through for Chiefs. Other PSL re­sults Polok­wane City

1, Maritzburg United 0; Chippa United 0, Mamelodi Sun­downs 1; Cape Town City 3, AmaZulu 0.

/Veli Nh­lapo

Au­gus­tine Mu­lenga of Or­lando Pi­rates and Siyabonga Ngezana of Kaizer Chiefs tus­sle for the ball dur­ing their Absa Premier­ship match at FNB Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

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