Another Soweto Derby, nothing different. Very little to get excited about. In fact, an absolute bore. But we should be used to this, shouldn’t we?
But don’t blame the fans, though, for expecting an enterprising Soweto Derby. After all, throughout the week players and coaches from both clubs said they were looking forward to an entertaining and high scoring game. It’s what supporters have been longing for. But this Carling Black Label Cup tie was far from entertaining. We had to wait for a shoot-out for some entertainment.
Amakhosi’s dreadlocked midfielder, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, had his shot from range deflected out for a corner early on. The fans were excited, blowing their vuvuzelas. But it was all for nothing. The match went into a dull mode, and the first shot on target was produced after 35 minutes when Buccaneers left-back Thabo Matlaba let rip from range, although it failed to trouble Amakhosi goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune.
Khune was the busier of the two ’keepers in the first period, having to pull off another stunning save from Kermit Erasmus’ shot just before the break.
The ’keeper was frustrated with his teammates. He had good reason to be. Amakhosi were no threat going forward, and Khune had to keep last year’s Black Label Champions in the game with his saves towards the end of the half. It was clear Amakhosi were missing the injured duo of Siphiwe Tshabalala and Bernard Parker in attack.
The second half was no better, although the fans did come alive when Chiefs were awarded a penalty after George Lebese was brought down in the box after the hour-mark. His namesake, George Maluleka, stepped up to take the penalty, but despite sending Pirates’ Senzo Meyiwa the wrong way, the midfielder was denied by the crossbar.
Meyiwa, who practically had nothing to do for the better part of the game, was called upon to make his first real save of the game minutes after the penalty, as he got down to his right to stop a Lebese shot.
Pirates dominated most of the play towards the end of the game, but their decision-making in the box was shocking. The final pass was just not there. It becameclear the only way we would get a winner here would be via a penalty shoot-out. And it’s exactly what we got.
At least, some drama and some work for the ’keepers. And boy, was the shoot-out entertaining, as it went to sudden death.
Mandla Masango slotted home for Amakhosi and striker Lennox Bacela converted for the Buccaneers. Maluleka then stepped up to take his spot-kick, but he missed hitting the crossbar yet again. Pirates’ Siyabonga Sangweni also missed and the shoot-out went into sudden death. Matlaba converted the winning spot-kick for the Buccaneers after Siboniso Gaxa had struck the upright.
The first two Black Label competitions were decided on penalties and both were won by the Buccaneers. Chiefs were determined to win a shoot-out and retain the title they won last year but it was all in vain.
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Orlando Pirates 0
Pirates win 6-5 on penalties - Sunday Independent