Johannesburg – A furious 60th minute fracas, involving half-a-dozen players from each team, marred what was at most times a high-voltage 1-1 Premier League derby draw between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The unsavoury incident had its roots in a nasty infringement that went unpunished on Pirates' Andile Jale a couple of minutes before bedlam broke loose.
Seeking vengeance, Jale then retaliated in his own right and in no time six players from each side had torn into each other in what resembled a rugby loose scrum.
It was difficult to guage from the rumpus who the main offenders were, but it would not have been amiss if two players from each side were shown red cards.
Instead, with the officials on duty at a loss as to whom to punish, the referee took no more severe action than to deliver a schoolmaster lecture to both captains.
The game, in its totality, captured a fascinated and fiercely parochial 78 000 crowd, but both teams appeared too tense and imbued in emotion for the standard to raise much above a mediocre level, with the final scoreline perhaps a fair reflection of the proceedings.
The result left defending PSL champions Chiefs still in fourth place in the log, a matter of three points behind log leaders Moroka Swallows and still battling to recapture the rapport of last season.
Pirates remain bogged down in the relegation zone along with Polokwane City and Golden Arrows, but their position is totally misleading as they have only played three matches against the six and seven of the other teams because of the Caf commitments that have taken them into the coming two-leg final of Africa's Champions League.
The match started in a predictable helter-skelter fashion, with Pirates grabbing the initiative when Kermit Erasmus opened the score in the ninth minute following what was a clinical, calculated movement.
Draws between Chiefs and Pirates in these derbies are now becoming common place and it was Zimbabwean international striker Kingston Nkhatha who put the Amakhosi on level terms in the 41st minute with The Buccaneers defence caught napping.
Chiefs improved their tempo somewhat after being shaded in the opening period, but they could not end a succession of six games in which they have failed to beat their arch-rivals. – Sapa