Pirates upset rivals Chiefs
Soweto - Benni McCarthy scored a brace as Orlando Pirates defeated Kaizer Chiefs 3-2 in their Absa Premiership clash at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Andile Jali scored the other goal for the Buccaneers, while Chiefs almost forced a comeback through goals from Siphiwe Tshabalala and Lehlohonolo Majoro.
The home side opened the scoring in the ninth minute when a cross from Daine Klate was blocked but the ball fell kindly for Oupa Manyisa inside the box.
His shot produced a great save from Itumeleng Khune but McCarthy was on hand to rifle the rebound into the roof of the net.
Chiefs then started keeping some possession but failed to get past the Pirates defence or get any shots on target to trouble Moeneeb Josephs.
The visitors had their first real chance in the 18th minute when Tshabalala nudged a long ball from Mandla Masango into the path of Bernard Parker but his shot was well blocked by Thabo Matlaba.
The Buccaneers then doubled their lead thee minutes later when McCarthy released Tlou Segolela on the left; the winger chipping the ball over the approaching Khune for Jali to bury at the far post.
Pirates continued using their wings to good effect and quickly extended their lead in the 24th minute when Segolela beat two defenders on the left before cutting the ball back for McCarthy to beat Khune with a first-time shot.
However, the visitors managed to pull a goal back nine minutes later when Tshabalala received a cross from Parker on the edge of the box and turned away from his marker before firing a low shot pass Josephs.
Then both sides had chances to add to their tally in the 35th minute when Manyisa picked out an unmarked Klate on the right, but his attempt went right across the goalmouth, while Segolela shot over the crossbar from the rebound.
Khune then got Chiefs on the front foot with a long goal kick which was flicked towards Tshabalala, but the Bafana Bafana winger also sent his shot over the crossbar.
The last chance of the first half belonged to Chiefs as Mandla Masango tested Josephs with a strike in the 43rd minute, but the goalkeeper held on to to ensure a two-goal lead for his side going into the break.
Chiefs threatened early on in the second half with Parker finding some space on the left and in the 48th minute his cross found Masango in the middle of the penalty area but his header went over the crossbar.
Augusto Palacios’s men then started to see more of the ball and in the 54th minute Khune was forced to punch out a dangerous cross with McCarthy lurking, while Jali fired a powerful shot wide moments later.
Then the Glamour Boys continued to apply pressure but it was the home side who came close to finding the back of the net again ten minutes later from a counter-attacking move.
Segolela ran with the ball from his half before spotting Khune off his line, but his lobbed shot from just over the halfway line went just over the bar.
There was another twist in the 69th minute when Willard Katsande connected with a corner from Parker. Pirates failed to clear the ball and substitute Majoro fired home from close range.
The last twenty minutes of the match saw Chiefs pushing hard for the equaliser while Pirates sought to absorb the pressure.
The visitors had a golden chance to level matters in the 89th minute when Tshabalala was put through on goal but Josephs did well to come off his line to deflect the ball away from his feet.
Majoro would have the last chance to steal a point for Chiefs in added time from a corner, but his header went well over the crossbar.
Orlando Pirates (3) 3 (McCarthy 9’ 24’, Jali 21’)
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2 (Tshabalala 33’, Majoro 69’)
Pirates: Josephs; Nzunga, Mahamutsa, Sangweni, Matlaba, Segolela (Mabalane 88’), Manyisa, Jali, Klate (Mayambela 64’), Mabena (Ntshumayelo 53’), McCarthy
Chiefs: Khune; Tau, Zvasiya, Isaacs, Ritchie, Masango (Majoro 55’), Katsande, Baloyi (Dladla 73’), Tshabalala, Lebese (L. Khune 56’), Parker