Johannesburg – It was a prophecy fulfilled as a stunning Daine Klate free kick helped Orlando Pirates to a 1-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs in their MTN8 Cup semi-final first leg at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Klate had earlier in the week said he wanted to score with a free kick in the Soweto Derby, and he did just that in in the 12th minute with a perfectly struck free kick from the edge of the area.
It was to be the only goal of the match, as Pirates controlled much of the clash, but even with a late wave of chances falling to the AmaKhosi they could not breach the Buccaneers' defence.
With five of their last eight league encounters ending in draws, the fixture was destined to be a low scoring affair, and Roger de Sa's men will be pleased to take the 1-0 victory to the second leg at Orlando Stadium on September 24.
Earlier, Pirates dominated from the first whistle, displaying more intensity with the ball and more creativity in attack.
Chiefs could not get their feet on the ball and in the 11th minute their frustration told. Eric Mathoho made a reckless challenge on Lennox Bacela less than a metre from the edge of the box to give Pirates a setpiece in menacing territory.
Up stepped Daine Klate, as he opened the score in the 12th minute. His left-footed strike was curled into the top left corner of goal, as Chiefs keeper Itumeleng Khune dived in vain to stop the shot.
Chiefs' first shot in anger came in the 17th minute, but it was nothing but a speculative wild waft into the stands.
Chiefs were rewarded after a short period of good play in the 21st minute with a free kick in a dangerous position 30 metres out. Bernard Parker had a go, but his effort was sprayed into the cheap seats, indicative of his side's play in the first period.
Klate was involved again the 41st minute as he surged down the left, releasing Sifiso Myeni in the middle, but he rushed his shot as it was scuffed left of target.
The best chance of the opening stanza for Chiefs came three minutes before the break. A Siphiwe Tshabalala corner found Siboniso Gaxa in the middle of the box – after it was allowed to bounce – but he fell back as he went for goal and could not keep the attempt down.
Coming on after the break, Knowledge Musona had his first shot in the 50th minute, but he was wide with his first-time effort.
Chiefs were inches away from an equaliser in the 68th minute. Parker went on a swerving run into the box, and drew the attention of keeper Senzo Meyiwa but the shot hit the right post before the danger was cleared.
Chiefs kept pushing hard for the goal, and Tshabalala drew a good reaction save from Meyiwa in the 70th minute. After swift interplay from the Chiefs players, Tshabalala from just outside the box pulled off a piledriver which Meyiwa was able to chest away.
In the 77th minute, Pirates player Happy Jele found an unmarked Kermit Erasmus in the box and his well struck header bounced just wide of target.
Pirates kept up the pressure as Tlou Segolela delivered a good ball for Siyabonga Sanweni in the 81st minute, but his header from close range was also narrowly wide.
Tshabalala produced another well struck long range shot in the 84th minute.
He made a sideway run towards the middle of the field, and his strike curled too much to stay on target. – Sapa