Soweto Derby: What a draw!

2015-03-08 12:45

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Pirates and Chiefs faced off in a much-anticipated match, but neither of the glamour teams managed to find the back of the net – try as they might

What a classic game! What a draw! Even though the match ended with zeroes on the board, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates supporters would have left the stadium a happy lot after what they saw on the pitch yesterday.

This game had all the ingredients of a good derby – it had everything but goals.

Both sides were unlucky as they were denied by the woodwork in the second half with goalkeepers well beaten.

A draw was a fair result in the end as neither side deserved to lose.

It is still advantage to Chiefs with eight games to go and, with an 11-point gap at the top, the Absa Premiership title is Amakhosi’s to lose.

With defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns losing their game on Tuesday against Bidvest Wits, Chiefs can afford the draw – they know that the margin at the top is wide enough to maintain their lead.

Even though they dropped two valuable points yesterday, it was a credible stalemate against their archrivals, who gave nothing away.

But a draw once again dented the small ray of hope Pirates had of clawing back into the title race.

They now find themselves 14 points behind the pacesetters.

With the other title contenders, Bidvest Wits, losing their game on Friday night against Bloemfontein Celtic, this was a chance for Chiefs to further open the gap at the top, but it was not to be.

This was a game of two halves and both sides had their moments in either half.

While Pirates dominated the proceedings in the opening stanza, the second half belonged to Chiefs, who threw everything at the visitors.

Siphiwe Tshabalala was unlucky to see his thunderous shot bouncing off the crossbar in the 55th minute, and Sifiso Myeni also saw his effort hitting the woodwork in the 64th minute.

But in all fairness, the two goalkeepers – Itumeleng Khune and Brighton Mhlongo – had an afternoon off because play was concentrated in the middle of the park for the most of the game, but this was expected judging by the two team’s line-ups.

It was an entertaining opening half, but one that lacked quality as neither goalkeeper had to answer a call to action.

Pirates were quick to settle as they played with confidence and took control of the game, especially in the middle of the park.

Supporters were on their toes as early as the third minute after George Lebese went tumbling in the box, but referee Zolile Mthetho waved play on.

The same thing happened in the Chiefs’ box when Mpho Makola went down, but Mthetho kept things going again.

The game was characterised by too many unforced errors and wayward passes from both sides, and this resulted in few scoring opportunities.

While they were nowhere in the first half, Chiefs came back strongly in the second half and took the game to Pirates.

Whatever Stuart Baxter told his charges in the dressing room at half-time seemed to be what the team needed – they came back on to the field looking like a different side.

However, in the end, they had to settle for a draw. It is game on as the title race is far from over.

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