Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates proved to be the better side as they beat an
unconvincing Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in Saturday's Soweto derby at the FNB Stadium in
Pirates started the better of the two teams but went behind
after Khama Billiat scored. Justin Shonga missed a penalty before Innocent
Maela got the equaliser.
Vincent Pule proved to be the hero as he tapped home the
winner in the first half, though Chiefs did have chances to level in the second
Played in hot conditions, Pirates came out the stronger of
the two sides with Pule coming close to scoring an opener though his strike
from inside the area whistled wide.
However, with Bucs seemingly the more likely to score, it
was Chiefs who took something of a surprise advantage. From a cross from the
left off the boot of Godfrey Walusimbi, Billiat appeared to get a touch which
seemingly put off goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.
He failed to gather the ball and it dropped to Billiat who
tapped home from close range into an empty net.
Nonetheless, the Sea Robbers roared back and were awarded a
penalty as Augustine Mulenga was hauled down in the penalty area following some
Shonga stepped up to take the strike though Itumeleng Khune
produced a good low save to his right. Nonetheless, Bucs were to level soon
afterwards after Shonga's corner was well headed home by Innocent Maela.
In the 32nd minute Pule made it 2-1 to the home side after
poor defending from Chiefs. Siyabonga Ngezana got caught out of position before
the lively Mulenga crossed for the forward to tap home with ease beyond Khune.
In the second stanza Chiefs started the better of the two
sides and perhaps should have equalised when Siphelele Ntshangase found Leo
Castro, but his tame effort was saved by Mpontshane.
Just before the hour mark, Bernard Parker sent Ramahlwe
Mphahlele free behind his marker and his pull back found Billiat on the small
box, though his shot was brilliantly blocked by a sliding Happy Jele.
With that said, not long after Shonga missed a sitter for
the hosts. When Mphahlele and Khune got into a mix up, the ball fell to the
Zambia forward though he side-footed over with the goal gaping.
There were few other major alarms as the clock wound down
and it would end 2-1 to Pirates at FNB, as they drew first blood against their
major rivals in 2018/19.