Yusuf Maart’s solo goal gave Kaizer Chiefs their first win over arch-rivals Orlando Pirates this season in a league Soweto Derby at the FNB Stadium.
Chiefs took all three points from Pirates to move into third place on the log, while Pirates, who play in the MTN8 final next Saturday, remain in fifth place.
Furthermore, this victory provided some solace to head coach Arthur Zwane, who had been under pressure following a mixed bag of results this season.
Yusuf Maart gives Kaizer Chiefs the lead in stunning fashion 💯
— SuperSport Football ⚽️ (@SSFootball) October 29, 2022
Pirates entered the match as the favourite, owing to their recent winning streak in which they also advanced to the MTN8 final after defeating Sundowns last week.
So, with high confidence and satisfaction in his players, coach Jose Riveiro made only two changes to the team that began the MTN8 semi-finals in Polokwane.
In the Bucs’ engineroom, Zakhele Lepasa partnered with Kermit Erasmus, while Goodman Mosele took over for suspended anchor Miguel Timm.
The Chiefs made three changes, with Khama Billiat leading the line in search of goals. The red-hot Monnapule Saleng drilled a hard and low shot that was saved by Brandon Petersen, but it was the Pirates who tested the waters first.
The Pirates not only pressed the Chiefs, but they also dominated possession, looking for gaps in the Glamour Boys’ final third of the pitch.
While the Chiefs were happy to give the ball to the Pirates, they used long balls to find their runners because they knew marksman Ashley Du Preez has the speed to get in behind the ‘home’ team’s defence.
That strategy should have paid off not once, but twice, as Du Preez went one-on-one with goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane later in the game, but he couldn’t convert.
This game was evenly matched by the time it reached halftime. But the Chiefs knew they should have taken the lead after having the majority of the chances.
Reacting to the Chiefs’ threat from the first half, Riveiro made two substitutions after the break, bringing on Kabelo Dlamini and Fortune Makarige.
After Innocent Maela was subbed off early in the first half and replaced by Paseka Mako due to an injury, that was the Pirates’ third substitution.
Kermit Erasmus, who had earlier missed with a hard and low shot, nearly lifted the Calabash’s roof in the second half, but his curling shot was wide.
But, once again, the Chiefs flipped the script by making inroads into the Pirates’ final third. Except for this time, they were in command of the build-up.
And boy, did they get rewarded in style! Maart noticed Mpontshane was off his line and lobbed a ball into the empty net from the centre line.
Chiefs should have doubled their lead in no time after Nkosingiphile Ngcobo controlled well inside the box only to shoot wide.
However, Maart’s goal was enough for Amakhosi to claim the town’s bragging rights and their final win of the first half of the season.