Poor start for Pirates

2014-08-10 06:00

It has been a while since Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques tossed his jacket in the air in celebration of a goal by his team.

It couldn’t have been a more ideal start to the new season for one of Soweto’s oldest clubs, which was nearly relegated last season.

That Swallows only had two shots on target the entire game, which were both converted, was a harsh lesson Orlando Pirates took from their township rivals last night.

Anyone going through the match statistics would have concluded that the football gods had gone crazy. The reality is that Marques and his side, who came to the encounter with one reserve short, somehow know how to utilise their limited resources.

The Bucs, on the other hand, displayed a certain mastery of the art of squandering chances, as they did last Saturday in their MTN8 Cup quarterfinal against SuperSport United.

Pirates striker Kermit Erasmus should be the leading marksman in all competitions so far but his wastefulness in front of goal is nothing close to his prolific goal scoring at SuperSport United and the junior national teams not too long ago.

Instead, it was the unusual customer Lantshene Phalane who showed how even half chances can be converted. The

Swallows debutant profited from a shoddy clearance by the Pirates defence and rifled home from outside the box seven minutes into the match. The shot took a wicked deflection off Siyabonga Sangweni.

Somehow the hosts, who were mostly in control of the game, laboured for the equaliser, which eventually came via a penalty. This after a poorly delivered goal kick by Swallows goalkeeper Greg Etafia turned into a perfect pass for Erasmus, who was fouled by Rudi Isaacs in the box on 30?minutes.

In came Lerato Chabangu, who sealed the deal for Swallows 10?minutes from regulation time and handed Marques his second jacket toss of the night.

The two teams will return to action on Wednesday, with Pirates travelling to Free State to take on Bloemfontein Celtic, while Swallows face AmaZulu in Dobsonville.

Hits and misses

19th minute: Mpho Makola is denied by the crossbar against the run of play

30th minute: Kermit Erasmus shoots wide with an open goal beckoning after he’s set up by Dane Klate

34th minute: Klate allows Etafia to sweep the ball under his feet in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper

54th minute: Makola balloons an inviting cross from Erasmus with an open net beckoning 75th minute: Erasmus shoots the ball against Etafia’s feet following a brilliant build-up

» Meanwhile, newly-promoted Chippa United beat Platinum Stars 2-0 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, while SuperSport United lost 1-0 to visitors Bidvest Wits at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

» In Durban, Brazilian side Santos were crowned the inaugural champions of the eLAN Durban Under-19 International Football Tournament after defeating Portuguese side Benfica 2-0 in the final at Moses Mabhida Stadium last night.

Boca Juniors of Argentina finished third after beating Dutch side Feyenoord 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 stalemate at full time.

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