Soweto derby ends in goalless stalemate

2015-03-07 18:04

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Despite a fast and furious second half, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates were made to share the spoils in their Soweto derby clash at FNB Stadium this afternoon.

An ordinary opening half made way for a frantic second, which seemed to go by in a flash as the Soweto rivals played up to the always highly-anticipated clash between the country's premier clubs in Gauteng.

Chiefs extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points, after second-placed Wits lost to Bloemfontein Celtic last night, gifting Chiefs the chance to grab three points to put further daylight between themselves and the Clever Boys.

But a resilient Buccaneers side, now unbeaten in nine straight Premiership games, will feel the happier of the two having claimed a point, which takes them up to third in the league standings.

The game started brightly for Chiefs, who had a penalty shout turned down in the fifth minute despite George Lebese complaining that he had been hacked down by Siyabonga Sangweni's clumsy tackle inside the box.

Pirates woke up and proceeded to dominate the next quarter and put their cross-town rivals on the back foot for most of the half.

Chiefs came closest when Eric Mathoho headed Siphiwe Tshabalala's free-kick narrowly over the crossbar after finding himself in acres of space inside the box.

A minute later, Brighton Mhlongo was forced into his first real save of the match when Tshabalala had a go from a long way out, thanks to Bernard Parker's recovery and counter-attack from the middle of the park.

But the half fizzled out somewhat as the teams went into the break after a reasonable 45 which saw little in the way of chances at either end.

The second half started with a bang and was far quicker in tempo, up and down the pitch.

Amakhosi used neat touches and short, sharp passes to work their way past Pirates' helpless defence but poor decisions let the Glamour Boys down.

Mhlongo made a stunning save on 48 minutes to thwart Reneilwe Letsholonyane from distance, with the midfielder curling a shot goalwards but instead finding a two-handed diving stop from Mhlongo.

It was going Chiefs' way and Tshabalala took advantage by cutting inside to unleash a thunderous left-footed shot from distance, rattling the crossbar with an effort worthy of a goal.

Pirates replied with a long-range stunner of their own when Sifiso Myeni found the underside of the crossbar with his vicious attempt on 65 minutes.

The shot took a nasty deflection en route to goal and wrong-footed Itumeleng Khune who was relieved to see the ball bounce straight down, but not over the goal-line, and out of danger.

Chiefs were made to rue missed opportunities nine minutes from the end when second-half replacement Siphelele Mthembu failed to round-off a superb Chiefs move which started with a burly run by Parker down the middle.

Mthembu, however, got his feet caught up and could only chest his foiled shot tamely at a grateful Mhlongo, who was alone in the box.

Mthembu was put through on goal shortly afterwards but again could not beat Mhlongo in a one-on-one situation.

In the end, it was a fair reflection on a breathtaking game which brought the crowd to its feet, courtesy of a second half that was unlucky not to see a goal.

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