Orlando Pirates scored an own goal, conceded another through a free header, and played like shit in the first 40 minutes of the Soweto derby. Whilst the referee Thando Ndzandzeka missed a red card, gave away a bogus free-kick that led to an Orlando Pirates goal, and was pretty much shite (with an ‘e’) too.
Orlando Pirates’ First Half
As getting comfortable in my seat and taking the first sip of my ice-cold beer, Orlando Pirates conceded the first goal. An own goal. *facepalm* Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Wayne Sandilands got their wires crossed. The captain on the day headed the ball over the advancing goalkeeper with only 45 seconds on the clock. I’m as pessimistic an Orlando Pirates supporter as they come but even I didn’t expect that.
Rhulani Mokwena started the game with no recognizable center back. Happy Jele was suspended and he doesn’t seem to fancy Justice Chabalala or Alfred Ndengane. Kaizer Chiefs, as they always do, started the game with the attacking trio of Khama Billiat, Leonardo Castro and Samir Nurković. The latter duo aren’t the best technically but are excellent aerially, and height wasn’t something the Orlando Pirates back four was blessed with.
Around the 20th minute, a cross was played into the box from the right, Nurkovic leaped over right back Abel Mabaso for an effort towards goal but the ball went over the bar. That’s when I then turned to my girlfriend and said “Kaizer Chiefs are going to score their next goal with a header” Five minutes later my prophecy was fulfilled. Leonard Castro found himself free in the box and nodded the goal home from a corner. *bang my head against a wall*
Orlando Pirates were handed a lifeline when the referee gave them an undeserved free-kick in the 38th minute. Pule found the back of the net from a tight angle. Orlando Pirates were on the ascendancy from then on forward.
The Soweto Derby was kind of an anticlimax after the World Cup final last weekend. It was always going to be difficult to eclipse the Springboks winning the World Cup. It sort of like having breakfast with your 22-year old girlfriend in the morning then a few hours later going grocery shopping at Pick n Pay with your wife.
This weekend the Soweto Derby doesn’t have those pesky Makhwaphenis to contend with, they have the Saturday all to themselves.
Every encounter between two of South Africa’s biggest clubs comes with a new set of questions. Who will replace Happy Jele? Will referees keep their wits about them? If Pirates lose, what nonsensical excuse will Rhulani Mokwena have after the game? The answers to these and a couple more questions will give us an idea of what to expect on Saturday afternoon.
In 2004, a certain gentleman with deep pockets by the name of Patrice Motsepe bought a 51% stake in his home town club Mamelodi Sundowns. Since then Sundowns have won, six league titles, four Nedbank Cups, three Telkom Knockouts, three MTN 8s, CAF Champions League title, and the disdain of every other human being who doesn’t support their team. Whoever said money doesn’t buy you success is either a liar or divorced.
Sundowns formula for success could be summed up in these three easy steps:
Step 1: Purchase or lure away your competitor’s best players. By doing so you are essentially making them weaker. Step 2: Pay the said players an absorbent amount of money to ease the pain of sitting on the bench or in most instances in the stands. Step 3: Release the player three years later when they can hardly kick a ball.
After Sundowns’ 0-0 draw with Baroka last night, Pitso Mosimane lamented his team’s “unfreshness” after their win over Chippa United on penalties in the Telkom Knockout last weekend.
“Difficult game for us, you could see we were not fresh. That 120 minutes took a little bit from us three days back and these guys weren’t playing,”
In the past couple of months, Kaizer Chiefs have let go 8 players. On Wednesday they came out with a statement saying that might release one or two more. This is a cleanout which is long overdue. However, with all these players going out who are the players they are bringing. Remember Kaizer Chiefs is the biggest club in South Africa, they don’t only need signings to make up numbers in the squad but to compete for the league too.