Win over Amakhosi in the semifinal first leg of the Soweto derby gives the Buccaneers an edge.
The implications Daine Klate’s goal carries weight for Pirates going into the second leg of this MTN8 Cup semifinal on September 24.
By virtue of having been the visiting side, Pirates have scored an away goal that means Chiefs must cancel it out to enhance their chances in a bid for a place in the final.
While Pirates coach Roger de Sa celebrated his first win over Chiefs since taking charge at the helm at Pirates, an added pressure for Amakhosi is that they have never beaten the Buccaneers in their previous MTN8 Cup encounters before, dating back to 2010 and 2011.
But on the flip side, a narrow margin like this could still prove insufficient as it was the case three years ago when Pirates overturned Chiefs’ away goal – in the same competition and stage – to win on aggregate en route to the final.
The two sides have four weeks to plan for their return leg.
Chiefs will return to the Nasrec arena in three days’ time for another bite at the Soweto derby cherry, this time with cross-town rivals Moroka Swallows on Tuesday night.
Pirates on the other hand will crisscross the continent due to their CAF Champions League assignments.
They meet Zamalek in Cairo on Sunday and AC Leopards in Congo-Brazzaville on September 14 before their Absa Premiership clash against Polokwane City four days later.
Following constant attacks by Pirates, Chiefs’ defence succumbed under pressure and conceded a series of free kicks near their goal area.
It was a matter of time before Mulomowandau Mathoho’s lunge on Lennox Bacela near the D-line presented Daine Klate with an ideal range, which he fired home from the resultant free kick.
Chiefs’ turning point was the introduction of Knowledge Musona and Kingston Nkhatha in the second half.
Both offered a new dimension to coach Stuart Baxter’s front line.
Musona had three attempts at goal in less than five minutes after he came on for Lehohonolo Majoro after the break, while Nkhatha’s imposing figure weighed on Lucky Lekgwathi and Rooi Mahamutsa in the heart of the Bucs defence.
Musona was, however, selfish not to have shared the ball when his side had the opportunity to level the scores at the stroke of full time, instead shooting straight at Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.
It was in the midst of these attacks that Meyiwa was put to test by a fierce Siphiwe Tshabalala shot in the 71st minute, which the Bafana reserve goalie dealt with ease.
Tshabalala also had a close effort near the end, but his ground shot went narrowly wide.
Despite being under siege, Pirates stood their ground.
The down side
Referee Phillip Tinyane was no doubt a spoiler in a game that lived up to its billing.
His lack of experience at handling a high-profile fixture like the derby played itself out on many occasions in this tie.
While he correctly awarded the free kick that resulted into the Pirates goal, he failed to book Mathoho for the challenge on Bacela.
His inconsistency was demonstrated when he cautioned Bucs defender Happy Jele for a similar foul on Chiefs midfielder George Lebese in the opening half.
It was the reason the game almost got out of hand as both camps were agitated by some of his decisions, which also triggered some nasty challenges between players when the heat was on.
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