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.
“We like to make it difficult, my middle name is Mlungisi [meaning; the one who fixes], so I think sometimes the players try and test how much I can fix certain things, so it’s a test to see how difficult they can make things for me, but we keep going and we try to fix,”
This is what Rhulani Mokwena told Supersport after his team’s draw with Mariztburg United last night. Every time I listen to Mokwena’s post-game interviews I’m always left asking myself “What the heck is this guy saying?” One thing I’m never confused about, though, is the pattern of each of them. They go like this 1. The interviewer asks a question 2. He takes a moment to think about it (with a defeated expression on his face) 3. He goes on a soliloquy that either had nothing to do with the game or doesn’t make sense.
Last night the Buccaneers drew for their fifth time to go along with their four losses in their 12 games under Rhulani Mokwena. There always seems to be something wrong with his teams. If they are not conceding goals by they are failing to score.