What an amazing showcase of our football as a Nation courtesy of the first MTN8 2nd leg semi-final, the biggest derby in Africa between Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday 24th September 2013. At this point I will by all means try not to give away who between the two clubs my loyalties lie with, for the sake of a none biased good read.
I'm normally most nervous about the match officials and how they will manage under the immense pressure when it comes to games of this calibre, but it was very consoling to know that Daniel Bennet will be the man in charge as his experience is simply priceless. It became evident from the opening stages that it was going to be a very physical game understandably so as both teams had it all to play for. Erasmus reminded the bucs faithful why he deserved to be a part of the sea robbers starting 11 when he displayed skill, technique and confidence as he ran at the kaizer Chiefs defense ensuring a very long day at the office for the glamour boys. To an extent it seemed as if Chiefs had 12 men on the pitch as Siphiwe Tshabalala's left foot proved to be on form doing very well to keep the bucs as far away from the ball as possible. Both Shabba and his left foot could however have done even better on the day but Phungwayo's performance with which he ended up winning well deserved man of the match can be attributed to the fact that Shabba and "Lefty" did not reach their full potential. Oupa 'ACE' Manyisa ran like his life depended on it doing very well in mid-field without his partner in crime Andile Jali who was cheering for bucs alongside the likes of lucky lekgwathi from the VIP booth. ACE as a crowd favourite also did well to entertain the fans as he displayed some raw South African football flair throughout the encounter as fans cheered AAAAACE!!!!!! everytime he was on the ball. A well taken header by Tefo Mashamaite to test Senzo Meyiwa's acrobatic skills ended up as a rebound at the feet of Bernard parker who took full advantage of the opportunity scoring the first goal of the match and putting the mighty amakhosi in the lead. It was at this point where full hope was re-instilled within the Kaizer Chiefs faithful as the Orlando stadium went abuzz with joy with Kaizer Chiefs eventually going into half-time leading 1-0. Things took an extreme turn during the 2nd stanza of the game on 73 minutes when the referee Daniel Bennet gave a penalty to the sea robbers after spotting Morgan Gould pulling to the ground Rooi Mahamutsa inside the 18 area. Lennox Bacela was afforded the opportunity to take the spot kick and he calmly did just that, sending Khune the wrong redirection scoring Pirates' equalizer. The most memorable moment after this would then have to be Kaizer Chiefs' final opportunity during the last 3 seconds of the game as Majoro missed the target by an inch in almost killing the buccaneers’ hopes of going through to the finals. Pirates eventually won 2-1 on aggregate and now move on to meet Platinum Stars in the finals to be staged at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban on the 28th September 2013.
Well done to both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs for the Great display of SA football, you have once again re-instilled my pride to be South African. The fans out at the orlando stadium and around the country contributed an enormous amount in ensuring the festivities and that is exactly what SA football is about. I look forward to the finals this coming Saturday and may the best team win
BY: Zuko ZOOX Nomnganga
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