The Soweto derby has come and gone, and it wasn't the most entertaining in recent years as it finished goalless at the FNB Stadium. Many have voiced their annoyance at both sides failing to take the game to each other… So what makes it end goalless?
Here are a few reasons as to why this weekend’s clash failed to ignite any goals…
Teams Edgy With What Is At Stake
Kaizer Chiefs came into the fixture knowing that they couldn’t afford to slip up, as both Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns are breathing down their necks in the title race. Pirates, meanwhile, know that a defeat wouldn’t be accepted and they rather remained compact to limit Chiefs, rather than going at them. Knowing what is at stake may have left some of the players on edge. This leads me to my next point…
Easier To Settle For A Point
In such a big game where a lot is at stake, it is easier for both teams to settle for a draw than to risk taking home no points at the end of the day. This is a popular concept in Italian football, where both teams, who are fighting for something, would rather draw than suffer defeat. It is a mindset that is slowly being implemented around the globe.
Chiefs' Predictable Line-Up
While Stuart Baxter’s line-up on Saturday is a tried and tested starting XI, it was very predictable and that can sometimes go against them. If Tinkler was to prepare his squad against any line-up, it would’ve been this one; therefore, the Buccaneers knew how to stall the Amakhosi.
Pirates Ultra Defensive
While Chiefs may have turned out with a similar 4-2-3-1 formation, Pirates were defensive in their approach to the game. With Issa Sarr and Thandani Ntshumayelo sitting above the backline, the duo is much more defensive-minded in comparison to Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Willard Katsande. This helped their cause in keeping a clean sheet, but it didn’t help Kermit Erasmus upfront.
The Tactical Battle
When reflecting on the game, you realise that both coaches did well in the tactical battle. Both Baxter and Tinkler knew how to close down their opposition and that, in turn, will hinder the production of goals and affect the beauty of the game.
What other reasons do you believe are the cause for the derby ending in yet another draw?