Pirates, Chiefs warm up for derby with wins

2014-09-14 06:00

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The stage is set for a pulsating MTN8 final after both finalists warmed up with victories yesterday.

But what should we read into Orlando Pirates’ lacklustre performance against Bidvest Wits before Saturday’s MTN8 final?

After scoring three goals against Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns in their previous two games, Pirates only managed a single goal by captain Siyabonga Sangweni late in the game against the Students last night.

This should worry coach Vladimir Vermezovic and fans ahead of the Soweto derby in Durban on Saturday.

But the team did not create enough chances to claim maximum points until Sangweni’s 85th-minute’s strike hit the upright and deflected off goalie Rowen Fernandez’s back into the net.

With next weekend’s opponents Kaizer Chiefs continuing with their excellent start to the season by beating the University of Pretoria earlier in the day, the odds should favour Amakhosi going into the final.

But cup finals are a different matter as they are once-off matches and the derby should be no different.

It was not a polished performance by the Buccaneers as they looked flat. But what matters most is a win in their first game at home after losing to Moroka Swallows and playing to a 1-1 draw with AmaZulu.

This was a grudge game for Wits who have lost twice to Pirates in the MTN8 this season but they still could not beat the Sea Robbers.

They were out of the blocks first and piled the pressure on the Buccaneers, who have Senzo Meyiwa to thank for his saves to deny the Students an early goal.

»?Results: Chiefs 2, AmaTuks 1; Maritzburg United 0, Black Aces 0; SuperSport United 3, Platinum Stars 1; Polokwane City 2, AmaZulu 2; Ajax 2, Free State Stars 1

»?Meanwhile, the SA Under-17 national team beat Egypt 2-1 in the first leg of the 2015 African Junior Championships qualifier at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Stadium yesterday. The return leg will be in Cairo in a fortnight and the winner will go through to the finals in Niger next year.

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