Soweto Derby Ends All Square
08 December 2012
Teams: Orlando Pirates 1-1 Kaizer Chiefs
Date: 8 December 2012
Venue: FNB Stadium
Referee: Robert Smith
Bragging rights were put on ice as Orlando Pirates drew 1-1 with visiting Kaizer Chiefs in a hard-fought Soweto derby on Saturday afternoon.
Premiership champions Pirates took the lead through ex-Chiefs striker Collins Mbesuma but Lehlohonolo Majoro equalised after the break at a sold out FNB Stadium.
The result leaves Amakhosi, on 31 points, three points ahead of their neighbours at the summit after 14 games.
The opening exchanges were, as expected, a spirited affair.
Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi, however, was fortunate to escape a caution for a studs-up lunge on Bafana Bafana midfielder Reneilwe 'Yeye' Letsholonyane early on.
While commitment levels couldn't be faulted, chances were rare to begin with, with Chiefs' Bernard Parker first to threaten with a shot over the cross bar from range in the 11th minute. Sea Robbers goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa had it covered.
Bucs, though, struck effectively with some incisive play in the 21st minute. Glamour Boys attacker Siphiwe Tshabalala lost the ball under a heavy tackle in midfield, allowing Andile Jali to release Mbesuma with a superb pass, with the Zambian clinically placing his effort past the helpless Itumeleng Khune.
Chiefs came agonisingly close to hitting back on the half-hour mark, but Daine Klate did well to clear Majoro's snap-shot off the line after Pirates failed to deal with a dangerous Tshabalala corner.
Five minutes later, Tshabalala tested Meyiwa with a menacing free-kick from distance, with the Pirates net-minder smartly tipping the ball over the cross bar.
Mbesuma looked to have bagged a brace in the 39th minute, but his effort from a one-on-one situation, following a deflection off Letsholonyane, was disallowed for off-side.
Klate then brought out the best in Khune just before the interval, with the national number one acrobatically foiling a stinging strike on the angle from the Sea Robbers winger.
After the recess, Amakhosi hitman Parker wasted a great opportunity when directed his free header over off a corner in the 54th minute. Moments before Parker's teammate and Man of the Match Eric Mathoho forced Meyiwa to parry the ball out for the set-piece with a shot on the run.
Stuart Baxter's men, though, drew level five minutes later through the in-form Majoro. Shabalala, Majoro and substitute George Lebese, on for the ineffectual Josta Dladla, combined superbly in midfield before 'Major' cleverly escaped his marker Siyabonga Sangweni and fired the ball past Meyiwa from a challenging angle in the box.
The latter stages of the contest saw little goal-mouth action, although Pirates substitute Benni McCarthy, on for Mbesuma, brought the fans to their feet with a spectacular overhead kick in the 83rd minute. The former Porto and West Ham star was, however, off target with his agile attempt.
Baxter's outfit then nearly snatched victory in stoppage time but substitute Kingston Nkhatha, on for Majoro, narrowly failed to get on the end of Tshabalala's shot across the six-yard box.
Orlando Pirates: Senzo Meyiwa, Happy Jele, Thabo Matlaba, Lucky Lekgwathi, Siyabonga Sangweni, Tlou Segolela (Mbuyane 83'), Oupa Manyisa, Andile Jali, Sifiso Myeni, Daine Klate (Ntshumayelo 79'), Collins Mbesuma (McCarthy 71').
Kaizer Chiefs: Itumeleng Khune, Siboniso Gaxa, Eric Mathoho, Tefu Mashamaite, Tsepo Masilela, Willard Katsande, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker (Rusike 84'), Josta Dladla (Lebese 46'), Lehlohonolo Majoro (Nkhatha 73').
Goals: Collins Mbesuma (Pirates 21'), Lehlohonolo Majoro (Chiefs 59').