Bucs edge through on penalties

2014-07-27 00:02

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The two guest coaches – Tebogo Molekwa (Kaizer Chiefs) and Cornelius Motsepe (Orlando Pirates) – who were in charge of the duo of Soweto giants yesterday, got a taste of what it feels like to occupy arguably the hottest coaching seats in domestic football.

And Molekwa, in particular, had first-hand experience of why it cannot be the coach’s fault when a player misses a penalty that could have won his team the game.

George Maluleka’s spot kick came off the crossbar midway into the second half and he had the same misfortune during the penalty shoot-out.

As much as the game was a public relations exercise for the sponsors, Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter and his Pirates counterpart, Vladimir Vermezovic, drew satisfaction from this Black Label Cup being an ideal pre-season warm-up.

Offering an analysis of the match’s selections would be pointless as the two clubs’ fans had their say in the starting line-ups, as well as substitutions.

Unlike in the usual games, where fans indicate their displeasure with rotating hands (for change), this Cup allowed the supporters to vote for their preferred subs via SMS during the game.

The mechanism benefited the likes of Siphelele Mthembu, who had just rejoined Amakhosi six years since the tug-of-war between the two giants over his signature in 2008.

The former Platinum Stars striker came in for Kingston Nkhatha 24 minutes into the game, while Pirates fans introduced Mthembu’s former team-mate, Issa Sarr, in place of Tlou Segolela five minutes after half-time.

Issa impressed with his combative style and ball distribution which took the fight to Reneilwe Lesholonyane, who was mostly instrumental in the Amakhosi attacks through the middle.

Goalkeepers Itumeleng Khune and Senzo Meyiwa reaffirmed their status as the top local shot stoppers.

Khune proved his agility in dealing with the crosses and his denial of Kermit Erasmus from close range before half-time was a highlight. Meyiwa also showed a firm hand when he dealt with the attempts at goal that came his way in the Pirates goal.

In the end, it was all part of the entertainment the crowd was craving for with a week before the start of new season.

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