The two Soweto giants met in the third derby of the season. Orlando Pirates came into the game on an 11-match unbeaten run against Kaizer Chiefs in all competitions.
We look at five key tactical factors in the game ending at level:
- Middendorp target Pule and Lorch
- Chiefs threaten deep defence
- Pirates struggled to create
- Bucs add attacker
- Chiefs lead; go defensive
Middendorp targets Pule and Lorch
At the start of this game, it was apparent that Ernst Middendorp’s analysis of Orlando Pirates had highlighted Vincent Pule and Theminkosi Lorch as key players. His response was to instruct his fullbacks, Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya and Kgotso Moleko to man-mark Bucs’ match-winning duo. Both Amakhosi fullbacks were regularly required to play very narrowly and sometimes in midfield to close down their man. The strategy worked on Pule, who had very little effect on the game, but Lorch managed to escape and set up a chance for Ben Motshwari as well as netting a late goal himself.
Chiefs threaten deep defence
With the lack of pace in Pirates’ defence, Chiefs were a real danger with the speed of Khama Billiat and Bernard Parker. Although the penalty was heavily debated after the game, Billiat’s run from the halfway line saw him reach the Bucs box with no opponent in sight. Parker’s dribbling and shots from range both also caused problems as Pirates sat deep.
Pirates struggle to create
Despite having 57.5% possession and making 484 passes, Pirates only attempted eight shots all game. Pule did not create a single chance in the game, and Justin Shonga managed just seven successful passes as he struggled to give Pirates a focal point up front.
Bucs add attacker
After 61 minutes, Pirates withdrew Musa Nyatama and added another attacker in Augustine Mulenga. This change saw a more attacking approach and helped Pirates to get level, but they did not push for a winner, instead of removing Shonga for an extra defender in Marshall Munetsi.
Chiefs lead; go defensive
Having taken the lead from the penalty spot, Chiefs continued to be a threat. However, after Mulenga came on, Chiefs decided to shut up shop. They withdrew Leonardo Castro for Willard Katsande and switched to a 5-4-1 formation with Philani Zulu and Ntiya-Ntiya as wingbacks. This seemed to invite Pirates' pressure instead of trying to get a second goal to kill off the game.
Did Chiefs deserve to pick up at least one point in this game? Why were Pirates off their best in the first half and should they have made changes earlier? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!