After the Soweto Derby was played over the weekend, Soccer Laduma looks at five major talking points which could have seen the game end in a different result.
Pirates registered a 2-1 victory in their third victory over Amakhosi this season and, of course, it was not a derby without major talking points.
Chiefs’ first two chances
Chiefs had the better chances early on in the game and actually should have taken the lead from the boot of Lebogang Manyama, whose toe-poked effort went wide of goal after his initial shot was blocked by the Pirates defence. It was Amakhosi’s first real chance of the game, which was followed by one from Samir Nurkovic not too long after that. Reeve Frosler made a great ball to Nurkovic, who controlled the ball well with his right foot, and wasted little time getting his shot away, though it went over the bar. He was not given enough time to shoot with his left foot, which would probably have been on target had it been the case.
Ngezana’s horrific miss
Many jaws around the country must have dropped when Siyabonga Ngezana missed one of the easiest chances he will ever get in his career. After Richard Ofori pulled off a save to deny Nurkovic from the penalty spot, Ngezana had the opportunity to bury the loose ball into the net, but he somehow directed the follow-up effort into the side-netting. At the time, the score was 1-0 and it was the perfect opportunity for Amakhosi to level matters. The result could have gone either way after that. Former Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Farouk Khan said it could be because of the fear and anxiety owing to Chiefs' performances in previous matches.
"You can see that there is a lot of fear and anxiety. When they have a team not doing so well, you have uncertainty, you have doubt. These are all psychological things that players go through," Khan told the Siya crew.
Should Cardoso have taken the penalty?
At the time when Chiefs were awarded a penalty, Nurkovic rushed to get the ball and, after consultation with regular penalty taker Daniel Cardoso, it was agreed that the Serbian striker would take the spot kick. Previously Cardoso has taken penalties for Chiefs and has, more often than not, converted them, even in the derby. He probably should have been the man given the responsibility of taking the spot kick, having been the number one penalty taker before at Chiefs.
"In hindsight, Cardoso should have taken it, but I obviously don't know what happens behind the scenes. If you look back, Cardoso has not missed many penalties in the past, so go with what has worked for you in the past. That could have changed the game completely. I am not saying they could have won, but it could have changed the game. I would have gone with the proven penalty taker," Khan said.
Pirates denied a penalty?
Chiefs were awarded a penalty, but Pirates were denied what appeared to be a clear penalty when Vincent Pule was brought down in the box by Njabulo Blom. Pirates players Ben Motswari, Thembinkosi Lorch and Thabang Monare were shown yellow cards by referee Luxolo Badi for showing their displeasure at the decision not to award a spot kick. These are bookings that could affect Pirates going forward, if ever any of these key players are suspended. There will be many calling for VAR after that decision. Former Pirates winger Dikgang Mabalane gave his thoughts on the incident, saying it was a definite penalty.
"That was a penalty. I even posted on Twitter, to say is it a penalty or not? But it was more of a rhetorical question because it was a penalty. I just wanted to hear the views of the people. He (Blom) was nowhere near the ball and he was obstructing the player from getting the goal. Everything says it was a penalty," he told the Siya crew.
Subs key for Zinnbauer
Pirates substitutes Paseka Mako and Siphesihle Ndlovu made an impact for the Buccaneers, combining to score what proved to be the winning goal for the Sea Robbers.
"The subs of the coach were attack minded. They were not prepared to sit back. They still wanted to to score more goals and maintain the game and possession, rather than sit back and close shop. It was a positive approach," Mabalane said.