Coaches sit out Soweto derby

2011-07-30 18:50

On a day when the Soweto derby was commercialised and fans assumed the role of team selectors, Kaizer Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic and his Orlando Pirates counterpart, Julio Leal, had limited influence on the outcome of an encounter that was eventually settled on penalties, with Pirates winning 4-3.

Pirates’ Oupa Manyisa, Happy Jele, Rooi Mahamutsa and Lucky Lekgwathi scored their spotkicks while Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker and Gerald Sibeko made successful conversions for Chiefs.

Sameegh Doutie sent his kick wide and Keegan Ritchie saw his effort bouncing off the crossbar. And Chiefs’ goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, who is better known as a penalty-stopper than a kick-taker, ballooned a shot that could have sent the shoot-out into sudden death.

Vermezovic and Leal sat idle on the bench for the opening half of the inaugural Carling Black Label Cup yesterday and only took over the reins from the “supporter coaches” in the following stanza.

Somehow Chiefs’ new signing, Parker, who had not yet joined Amakhosi when the line-ups of the two clubs were decided following a voting process that started six weeks ago, ­entered the fray unannounced.

The former FC Twente striker signed for Chiefs midweek and made an immediate impact with a go at goal early in the second half. But he had hardly lined up his shot when Lekgwathi thwarted him with a strong tackle.

Parker belied his lack of match fitness with strong runs and if he regains his sharpness he could prove to be the source of goals for Chiefs now that Knowledge Musona has left for the Bundesliga in Germany.

Fringe players such as Chiefs’ Sthembiso Ngcobo, Lucky Khune and Tlou Molekwane and Pirates’ Chiukepo Msowoya also got a rare start yesterday thanks to the fans who voted for them.

However, their limited contributions led to them being substituted.

Only Molekwane impressed at right back in place of the injured Jimmy Tau.

Bucs fans also picked goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs ahead of Senzo Meyiwa.

Josephs marked his return from a shoulder layoff with some brave saves.

As Vermezovic had not had much say in his starting eleven, natural left-footed defender Ritchie only came on later in the game in place of Tefu Mashamaite, who was deployed out of position at left-back.

The introduction of regular players from each camp such as Tinashe Nengomasha and Segolela changed not only the tactical aspect of the game but also its flow.

Kick-off had to be delayed for 30 minutes as multitudes of fans were still caught up in the traffic jam around the venue.

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