JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates reserves laboured a 1-0 victory over arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto derby at Vosloorus Stadium yesterday.
This match also served as a curtain raiser for the senior’s Telkom Knockout semi-final clash that will be played on Saturday at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Pirates’ goal came in the second minute courtesy of a strike by Lebohang Sepeng. On a break, Simiso Bophelo produced some good work down the flank, before delivering in the ball for an unmarked Sepeng to head home.
Given Thibedi should have equalised for Chiefs on 15 minutes as he beat the offside trap and was one-on-one with goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands but he lost his footing.
Soon after, Pirates should have punished Chiefs and doubled their lead. Sepeng created space for himself down the left wing before turning provider for Bophelo who ballooned the opportunity over the crossbar.
That wasted opportunity by the Bucs was a wakeup call for the Glamour Boys. As a result, the Sea Robbers were lucky to go into half-time still ahead as Thibedi dictated play in the middle of the park with some good passes to forwards Sizwe Twala, Ayanda Rorwana and Itumeleng Shopane. However, they were too casual in front of goal and the hard-work was wasted.
Winger Lebohang Lesako came close into levelling matters just before the interval as he bullied his way into Pirates’ box only to send his shot over the bar.
In the second half Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane introduced Yaseen Bunting who had a number of opportunities to at least grab a point for his side only to be denied by the experience of Sandilands.
Meanwhile, Bloemfontein Celtic piled the pressure on pacesetters Cape Town City after a 2-1 victory over neighbours Free State Stars. Striker Lunga Zikade opened the scoring for Celtic with a thunderbolt in the early stages of the first half.
Their lead was doubled by Tumelo Mangweni as he finished off a team move from close range. Thabo Maphakisha neeted the consolation goal.
In the Polokwane derby, Polokwane City came from behind to clinch a 2-1 victory over Baroka.@Mihlalibaleka
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