It ends all square in the Soweto derby

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates played to a 1-1 draw in their Soweto derby at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon, a result which does little to help either team in their Absa Premiership ambitions.

The Buccaneers will be the happier of the two teams, as they came from a goal down to extend their unbeaten run against the Amakhosi across all competitions to a record 12 matches. A loss for leaders Bidvest Wits in a concurrent game also means Milutin Sredojevic’s side have moved to within four points of the leaders. Ernst Middendorp’s charges are up to fifth spot on the log.

Chiefs created the first clear chance as early as the third minute, with Khama Billiat getting in behind the Pirates defence, but his shot from a tight angle was turned away by goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.

Pirates’ running power in attack nearly brought them a goal on 11 minutes, with Ben Motshwari’s surge forward only halted by an excellent tackle from Teenage Hadebe, while Xola Mlambo should have at least hit the target from the follow-up.

Chiefs looked dangerous with their fluid build-up play, though the Buccaneers’ backline tightened up through the rest of the half and chances were far harder to come by.

Pirates, meanwhile, looked to stretch the play whenever possible and one such example saw Vincent Pule send a dangerous ball through the danger area and just out of reach for Justin Shonga.

In all, there was little to choose between the teams in the first 45 minutes and it was no surprise when the halftime whistle saw the score still locked at 0-0.

The stalemate lasted only nine minutes of the second stanza, before Daniel Cardoso converted a penalty to put Chiefs 1-0 up. The spot kick was awarded after Asavela Mbekile appeared to drag down Billiat just inside the 18-yard area.

Pirates responded to going behind by putting together some sustained spells of pressure, but the narrow focus of their attack made it relatively easy for Chiefs to hold them at bay, even after the introduction of Augustine Mulenga to boost their forward line.

Yet the Pirates pressure finally paid off in the 81st minute: Ben Motshwari played a superb through ball to see Thembinkosi Lorch spring the offside trap and then show remarkable composure to round goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and score from a tight angle to make it 1-1.

That proved to be the final major attacking highlight of the match. Pirates will next be in action in midweek when they face Esperance de Tunis away from home in the CAF Champions League, while Chiefs take on The Magic in a Nedbank Cup tie next Sunday.

Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Cardoso 54’ pen)

Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Lorch 81’)

Kaizer Chiefs: Akpeyi, Moleko, Cardoso, Hadebe, Ntiya-Ntiya, Parker, Maluleka, Ekstein (Mphahlele 82’), Mashiane (Zulu 46’), Billiat, Castro (Katsande 66’)

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Mbekile, Jele, Ndengane, Maela, Motshwari, Nyatama (Mulenga 61’), Mlambo (Makola 69’), Lorch, Shonga (Munetsi 86’), Pule