Chiefs and Pirates warm up for derby with draws
Bucs coach Josef Zinnbauer would have preferred a morale-lifting win ahead of the big Soweto game on Saturday
Kaizer Chiefs took their unbeaten Premier Soccer League (PSL) run to five games with a 1-1 draw against Baroka FC at FNB Stadium on Tuesday.
But Chiefs probably feel they should have got more out of the match.
Thamsanqa Masiya put Baroka ahead against the flow of the game in the 53rd minute, Chiefs having to rely on Goodman Mosele’s own goal in the 76th minute for the equaliser.
Chiefs now turn their attention to Saturday’s Soweto derby against Orlando Pirates, who also drew on Tuesday.
Amakhosi applied pressure for large periods of the 90 minutes, but Baroka’s committed defending and goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke’s control of his area denied them more than a share of the spoils.
Gavin Hunt’s 4-5-1 formation, with a midfield anchored by Daniel Cardoso behind two advanced midfielders, inside of wingers, and Samir Nurković as the crucial point man, has brought stability and four unbeaten matches for Chiefs. Three wins were followed by Saturday’s 0-0 draw away to Stellenbosch.
The Chiefs coach saw no reason to alter what had finally worked for his team after their dismal start, with his only change, Reeve Frosler, returning from injury at left wing and Lebogang Manyama coming inside as Darrel Matsheke went to the bench.
Coach Thoka Matsemela’s Baroka had beaten Stellenbosch 3-2 away last Wednesday for a first win in six matches, then lost 2-0 at home to AmaZulu on Saturday as they held 10th place going into Tuesday’s game. Chiefs were in seventh, up from 14th just two weeks ago.
A tight first half from both teams saw chances hard to come by. The honours were even until 10 minutes before the break when Chiefs pressed forward.
There were decent opportunities for both teams midway through the half. A Chiefs counterattack saw the ball cleared from in front of Happy Mashiane as Manyama chipped back to find Frosler free on the left but his shot went into the netting.
For Baroka, from Nhlanhla Mgaga’s corner Daniel Akpeyi came out and missed. Left-back Ananias Gebhardt was able to get up alone but could not keep his header below the crossbar.
Chief continued to threaten but were denied a real opening by a final pass or wrong decision.
Baroka took the lead against the run of play just after the break.
Masuluke’s free-kick from deep in his half was knocked up to the edge of the area where striker Evidence Makgopa got up for the flick-on down to the feet of winger Masiya. He controlled the ball and finished with a shot that came off the right foot of Akpeyi.
Hunt responded with striker Leonardo Castro, on to partner Nurkovic, replacing centre-back Erick Mathoho. He also brought on Kearyn Baccus for Mashiane in midfield.
Chiefs put on the pressure and deserved a goal. They eventually got it through an own goal.
Castro was involved again, his flick-on playing Frosler down the left. He cut inside and attempted to square to the players queuing up in the middle, but midfielder Mosele intercepted and turned the ball into his own net.
In the day’s other game, Orlando Pirates and TS Galaxy played to an entertaining 1-1 draw at Orlando Stadium.
Pirates took the lead in the eleventh minute from the effort of Bongani Sam. Galaxy equalised nine minutes later with a good header from debutant Masilake Phohlongo.
Pirates remain in fifth spot on the standings with 22 points from 14 matches. Galaxy moved one place to 13th spot with 12 points.
Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer would have preferred a morale-lifting win ahead of the Soweto derby against Chiefs on Saturday.
Galaxy and new coach Owen da Gama have lots of work ahead as they try to revive their campaign having managed just two wins so far.
Pirates suffered an injury scare in the fifth minute when midfielder Ben Motshwari went down after he received a nasty elbow on the face from Masilake Phohlongo, but he was able to continue after medical attention.
After a number of forays into the Galaxy half, Pirates got it right when Sam gave them the lead by finishing off a well-taken delivery into the box from left-wing Makaringe.
The goal did not faze Galaxy as they responded with a quick attack of their own from the restart, which resulted in Mxolisi Machupu forcing a good save from Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori.
After 20 minutes, Phohlongo pulled one back for the visitors when he sneaked between Thulani Hlatshwayo and Deon Hotto to head home a well-taken delivery from Luckyboy Mokoena.
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