Kaizer Chiefs defender Eric Mathoho challenges Thabo Rakhale of Orlando Pirates during the Soweto Derby. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi /BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs                   0

Orlando Pirates               0
Much of the talk will be about the scoreline – how thousands of fans watching inside this beautiful stadium and millions more at home were only treated to yet another goalless Soweto Derby.

This fixture has been aptly named the ‘drawby’.

But Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela would have been content that he’s come out unscathed in what was a tough week as Amakhosi faced African champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Tuesday, beat them 2-1, and then their archrivals Pirates a few days later and managed to get a point and keep a clean sheet.

No doubt this Soweto Derby continues to be criticised for a lack of goals and, more often than not, some quality from both sides. The second half here was a little different, and it was perhaps disappointing that Amakhosi and Pirates didn’t rattle the back of the net.

And it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Buccaneers attacker Thabo Qalinge could have had a hat-trick had it not been for goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

Chiefs’ best chance fell to Willard Katsande in the 71st minute and Khune’s counterpart Wayne Sandilands was switched on enough to parry it away when the midfielder had already been celebrating as his powerful header appeared goal-bound.

Komphela was pacing in the dugout, knowing that for him a draw was a good result, although he would have obviously wanted maximum points to potentially move up the top of the Absa Premiership table by the end of the night.

Hendrick Ekstein of Kaizer Chiefs in a tussle with Orlando Pirates duo Issa Sarr (L) and Thabo Matlaba (R). Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

The Chiefs coach did not tinker with the side that was so impressive away to Sundowns in midweek with their five at the back formation that allows Joseph Molangoane and Philani Zulu to join the attack when Amakhosi are in possession and confident.

Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, his Pirates counterpart, made four changes following a deflating 1-1 draw against Platinum Stars at the very venue the night after Chiefs’ masterclass at Loftus Versfeld.

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic is animated in the dugout during the Sowety Derby. Photo: BackpagePix

The Buccaneers were desperate for a surprise element, leaving out striker Thamsanqa Gabuza as ‘Micho’ preferred the pacey, but stocky, Thabiso Kutumela.

Pirates were dominant, which is what their coach would have wanted and expected, but they couldn’t break down the Chiefs back three or get past the experienced Khune.

And when they did finally have the ball in the back of the net, Bernard Morrison had used his hand to force it over the line.

Disallowed goal and a yellow card was the punishment for the Ghanaian attacker.  

Komphela would have been nervous right through, although Amakhosi had some flashes of brilliance to give him some hope that maybe they were in it to win it.

Mpho Makola of Orlando Pirates is challenged by Kaizer Chiefs' Siyabonga Ngezana during the 0-0 Soweto Derby draw. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

In the end they weren’t winners, but their coach remains triumphant. He’s got one over his critics. Kept them at arm’s length when they had every reason to believe that he would be unemployed by Monday. It’s perhaps ‘Micho’ who will now come under scrutiny.

Pirates are still finding their feet under the Serbian, but there is simply no time to adapt, adjust or get a breather when you are in charge of this magnitude.

The midweek draw was a shock result in some respect – Dikwena are in the worst form of the club’s history and were there for the taking. But the Buccaneers made them look average.

Komphela has survived, while ‘Micho’, the fifth Pirates coach in three seasons, goes into the pressure cooker.   

IOL Sport

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