Keegan Dolly was the hero for Kaizer Chiefs after netting two goals past Orlando Pirates goalie in the first Soweto Derby of the season on Saturday afternoon.
Dolly’s heroism came after villainous acts by Thulani Hlatshwayo and Olisah Ndah who left the FNB Stadium looking for a place to hide.
The duo’s costly mistakes gifted Amakhosi with three points and braging rights at least until the next Soweto derby.
Linda Mntambo appeared to have snatched a point for the Bucs when the butter-fingers of Daniel Akpeyi let the ball roll back to his path. But Ndah unnecessarily brought down Khama Billiat in the box for a penalty and Dolly pounced again.
Chiefs will take all the positives from this game heading into the FIFA international break knowing that they have players that can step up to the occasion – when need be. For Pirates, though, their lack of a killer instinct continues to be a blemish.
The Bucs ended the game as the better side albeit the two teams poor first half as the goalkeepers were hardly tested.
Pirates, however, were expected to have the bite especially after their win in midweek, while Chiefs were beaten here.
After a disappointing outing for either side this season, Chiefs and Pirates needed to get some sort of redemption in this game – if they were to keep up with the chasing pack. But that was easier said than done given the imbalanced squads.
Chiefs were forced to start with Sibusiso Mabiliso for Saturday’s match after Sifiso Hlanti ruptured his Achilles at training, while there was a full debut for Pirates’ striker Kwame Peprah – due to Tshegofatso Mabasa having shot blanks in recent games.
But either side failed to live up to the hype of the game early on as they adopted a cautious approach. Pirates, though, had a snippet chance after Deon Hotto’s pin-point shot shaved the crossbar from a tight angle as Akepyi was unshaken.
Chiefs also tried to create something out of nothing as Dolly and Billiat tried to catch the Buccaneers on counter-attacks. But they were impeded in their tracks as centre-backs Ndah and skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo stood their ground.
With scoring chances having come few and far between, the disappointing half came to a close as both sides held ducks. But Pirates, though, would probably feel hard-done as Fortune Makaringe had put a close-range header wide of Chiefs’ goal.
But kudos should go to the coaches’ team-talk during half-time as there was new setting to the game. Pirates started to attack with purpose, sending forays into Chiefs’ final third. However, they couldn’t penetrate as Chiefs’ defence stood firm.
And in a blink of an eye, Chiefs turned the game on its head and found the breakthrough. A long ball into the Bucs’ final third was flicked towards Hlatshwayo but he made a hospital pass to Ndah as that was intercepted by the running Billiat.
Billiat rushed towards Pirates’ box before picking up mate Dolly who remained composed and passed the ball into Siyabonga Mpontshane’s bottom corner. But from thereon, Pirates threw more bodies forward in search of the key equalizer.
They got it from Mntambo. But Dolly and Billiat proved that they are players of such matches as they were again involved to get one over their rivals. However, this was a disappointing outing for Pirates – especially their centre-backs who were poor.
Final Score: Kaizer Chiefs 2 – 1 Orlando Pirates
Congratulations to the DStv Man of the Match: Njabulo Blom!
— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) November 6, 2021