By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
ORLANDO Pirates beat traditional arch-rivals, Kaizer Chiefs 3-2 to win the five goals thriller in a Soweto derby attended by more than 87 000 spectators at the FNB Stadium this afternoon.
Not only did the victory saw Pirates and their stand-in coach August “Njenje” Palacios redeem their dented image after the club lost 3-0 away to Santos mid-week, but it has also seen them moved one step up on the log to second position with 36 points.
Benni “Mkhulu” McCarthy scored twice with the other goal coming from Andile Jali who was Pirates’ life-wire in this match.
The ageing McCarthy scored as early as the 10th minute when he finished off a rebounded ball after defensive error from Keagan Ritchie who have had a very bad day. This after Oupa “Ace” Manyisa’s goal-bound was parred back to play by the Chiefs goalie, Itumeleng Khune.
As if that was not enough, Jali made it 2-0 in the 21st minute when he finished off a Tlou “Moletji Express” Segolela’s neat pass. This after Segolela who was a life-wire throughout received a pass from McCarthy before he could chip the ball above Khune that landed on the Matatiele, Eastern Cape-born midfielder who made no mistake.
In the 24th minute, Pirates came to the spot again, and this time with Segolela taking on Chiefs’ two defenders on a merry-go round before he could cross the ball that found the waiting McCarthy well positioned who stunned Khune with the third goal to make it 3-0
Chiefs however regrouped with their strikers visiting Pirates’ goal-mouth regularly and their effort paid off when returning from injury Sphiwe “Shabba” Tshabalala pulled one back for the mighty Amakhosi with a low grounder that beat the bewildered Moneeb Joseph to the far left corner to make it 3-1 by break time
Motivated by Tshabalala’s goal and the roaring strong supports, Chiefs soldiered on and dominated the better part of the second half but they found it difficult to see the back of the net as they were either shooting wide or straight into Josephs’ hands.
Substitute, Lehlohonolo Majoro who came in for Mandla Masango in the 55th minute got it right when he slotted home with a volley in the 70th minute in what looked like a great come back for Chiefs. The Naturena based-side went on to look for an equaliser, but it was too little too late as they couldn’t see any and Palacios breathed a sigh of relieve when the final whistle was blown.
Elsewhere Mamelodi Sundowns continued to registerer wins when they brushed aside Ajax Cape Town with a 3-0 drubbing away at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town in another Absa Premiership match. The victory means the Brazilians are now topping the league log with 40 points.
At the Princess Magogo stadium in KwaZulu-Natal, Golden Arrows blastered Maritzburg United 4-0 while Free State Stars registered a 3-1 victory away to BidVest Wits at the BidVest Stadium in Braamfontein, Jozi in another match.
In Polokwane, SuperSport United and Jomo Cosmos settled for a goalless draw at the Peter Mokaba Stadium with Moroka Swallows and AmaZulu played to a 1-1 draw at the Volkswagen Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.