Orlando Pirates registered one of their biggest wins this season when they defeated Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in a thrilling Soweto derby played at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The game was so intense that the crowd were on their feet for the entire occasion.
Pirates started the match with purpose and showed that they wanted the win more than their opponents, who were rather lethargic and too relaxed in the opening stages of the game.
By the 17th minute, the Buccaneers had made two forced substitutions, with Thabiso Monyane and Kermit Erasmus pulled out due to injuries.
They were replaced by Bandile Shandu and Relebohile Mofokeng who added some spark into the Pirates attack.
Pirates’ lanky striker Evidence Makgopa, who was yellow-carded within seconds from kick-off after he kicked Chiefs defender Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, made amends when he netted the most important goal of his career when he tapped-in from close range in the 19th minute.
Makgopa has been hounded by a section of the Bucs supporters since he started breaking into the starting line-up. However, he silenced his critics when he connected to an inch-perfect cross from Shandu on the right and beat Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune hands down.
After that, it was one way traffic to the Chiefs goalposts as Amakhosi chased shadows and were nowhere to be seen. Pirates attackers Mofokeng and Patrick Maswanganyi forced Khune to pull brilliant saves and to keep Chiefs in the game and the scoreline low.
Chiefs forays upfront were few and far in between, like when Ranga Chivaviro turned brightly and unleashed a dangerous shot that Yusuf Maart could not reach.
However, they came back from the half-time break pumped up and coach Cavin Johnson made two tactical substitutions when he took off Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Chivaviro for Mduduzi Shabalala and Christian Saile.
It almost paid off when Edson Castillo hit the upright with a dangerous glancing header.
Sensing trouble, Bucs coach Jose Riveiro made three substitutions and brought on Vincent Pule, Phillip Ndlondlo and Nkosinathi Sibisi for Thapelo Xoki, Miguel Timm and Makgopa.
The tactical move saw Pirates gaining advantage once more as Chiefs tried to launch a comeback. After the final whistle, Pirates fans went into a state of frenzy.
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