Orlando Pirates‘s dominance over Soweto archrivals came to a sudden screeching halt at FNB Stadium in an ABSA Premier League Soweto derby yesterday afternoon. Chiefs won 2-1, courtesy of two first half goals from a Benard Parker free-kick and a Simphiwe Tshabalala tap-in.
There is huge stories surrounding each goal and everything that happened between them and the last minute face saver from Happy Jele, itself, a monster of a statement. The whole match was a mega announcement of what all Pirates and Chiefs fans always suspected; that Julio Cesar Leal is a very good coach and that Vladimir Vermezovic has no solution to Orlando Pirates’s technical abilities and tactical awareness.
The match was a sure window to the fact that Orlando Pirates have no strikers, as much as it was to say that Kaizer Chiefs have no central defense. That exposed all who watched the match to an unfortunate dosage of a dull encounter that needed the referee to entertain us. The officials made sure Chiefs found their voices and they were hoping Pirates would care.
The Bucs were obviously preoccupied by budgeting the millions in their banks and test-driving their new Peugeot cars, and the complacency was, of course, easily exploited by the Boys from Naturena, and VV thankfully banked on the generous match officials, as seen by the decision leading to the free-kick that was converted in clinical fashion by Parker. The same can be said about the circumstances leading to the second goal that Tshabalala scored.
The free-kick was not supposed to be awarded to Chiefs, and as for the second goal, a free-kick was supposed to be awarded to Pirates. The Ghosts started playing football in the 85th minute when I was leaving the stadium. I did not even have the luxury of seeing the beautiful acrobatic Jele goal.
The story told be the Jele goal is that Tlou Segolela and Ndulula basically played for Kaizer Chiefs. This means Orlando Pirates have to get strikers who will, for once, shoot at goal. Strikers who will play for no-one else in all matches, but Pirates. For the Sea Robbers not to sink at sea, Clifford Ngomeni should always start along-side Oupa Manyisa and Andile Jali. The trio rotate their positions in excellent fluid operation that Arsenal can be envious of.
After all is said and done, Amakhosi rule the roost as they stand at the summit of the log, at least until further notice. Will this picture stick until May 2012?