Amakhosi looking good

2008-07-24 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — Kaizer Chiefs sounded a warning to other ambitious PSL clubs at the ERPU Stadium last night where they took arch rivals Orlando Pirates apart 2-0 in the third match of the Vodacom Challenge.

Amakhosi, who more than deserved this Soweto Derby, triumph will meet English and European champions Manchester United in the Challenge final at Loftus tomorrow.

The final is already sold out.

Once again, Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral got his tactics right by only making one change from the side that drew 1-1 in the opening game against United last Saturday.

But Bucs new coach Rudi Krol has a lot to learn about South African soccer — and the Soweto Derby in particular. Once again, his plan backfired spectacularly as he fielded a complete new side from the team that lost 1-0 to United on Tuesday night.

The former Dutch great will be getting the message that losing two on the trot, even in pre-season, won’t go down well with fans or management.

Krol thought he was doing the right thing in fielding a reserve team against United. The team he put out last night failed to spark and showed Pirates are a long way from regaining their glory days. But it is early days.

Ertugral, on the other hand, is on track. He has shown that patience was all that was needed and Amakhosi are set for a bumper season. Chiefs gave United a hard time at Newlands and the sell out crowd are set for a juicy clash at Loftus.

It was a dream Derby debut for Amakhosi striker Jose Torrealba. After making his debut in the draw against United, the Venezuelan struck gold in the 14th minute.

Pirates had been on top from the kick-off, but the match swung when Bucs defender Innocent Mdledle gave away a free kick on the edge of his penalty area when he hacked down Gert Schalkwyk.

Siphiwe Tshabalala floated over an inch perfect cross and Torrealba could not believe his luck, as he had a free header and powered home the ball past a helpless Moeneeb Josephs, who was making his Bucs debut.

The Pirates marking left a lot to be desired. They also carelessly gave away far too much possession in midfield, with sloppy passes that went astray in this first period.

Torrealba nearly doubled Chiefs lead in the 20th minute, but he just failed to connect David Mathebula’s corner.

Five minutes later, with their tails in the air, Amakhosi central defender Jonathan Quartey found himself in front of the Bucs goal, but his volley flew over the upright.

Josephs, who was signed from BidVest Wits in the off-season, pulled off his first save for his new club with a stunning stop from a Schalkwyk rocket 10 minutes from halftime.

Chiefs keeper Itumeleng Khune was called on to make his first serious save of the night in the 40th minute when he denied Bucs Malawian international midfielder an equaliser with a superb stop from his 20 metre bullet.

Khune did well on the stroke of halftime to pouch a Teko Modise free kick.

Bucs finished the half stronger, but failed to get that all important breakthrough.

Khune made another fairly routine save from another Modise free kick from the edge of the penalty area on 51 minutes.

Two minutes later, it was Josephs turn to fist away substitute Kaizer Motaung junior’s goal bound shot. But Motaung made sure when he headed home Tshabalala’s resultant corner to make it 2-0 and slowly take the game away from the out of sorts Buccaneers.

But to their credit, Bucs refused to lie down, it took a brilliant double save from by Khune from Kamwendo to deny Bucs a goal in the 73rd minute. Khune superbly fisted the Malawian star’s 20 metre free kick, before quick Kamwendo raced for the rebound only for the agile and wide awake Khune to deny him a second time to once again underlining the 21-year-old keeper’s incredible potential.

Chiefs weathered a late storm to run out winners, to the delight of the fans in the 20 000 plus crowd.

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