Olisa Ndah of Orlando Pirates challenges Phatutshedzo Nange of Kaizer Chiefs during the Premiership match at FNB Stadium on Saturday in Johannesburg. Picture: SYDNEY MAHLANGU/BACKPAGEPIX
Olisa Ndah of Orlando Pirates challenges Phatutshedzo Nange of Kaizer Chiefs during the Premiership match at FNB Stadium on Saturday in Johannesburg. Picture: SYDNEY MAHLANGU/BACKPAGEPIX

Perhaps it was not surprising that both coaches claimed their teams had outperformed the other in Saturday’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) Soweto derby, in which Kaizer Chiefs beat Orlando Pirates 2-1 at FNB Stadium.

Depending on which set of statistics you chose to focus on in a game of defensive mistakes and unexceptional standards, either team could have claimed dominance.

Pirates had the better possession and territory for most of the game, but were unable to capitalise.

Chiefs played the smarter football — with and without the ball — and allowed Pirates few scoring chances.

Amakhosi coach Stuart Baxter felt this was enough to claim a deserved victory, and ultimately had the scoreboard to back up his assertion.

“I thought we opened the game very well in the first 15 minutes. Our passing was good, our possession and our counter-pressing, finding the right spaces that we had spoken about prematch,” Baxter said.

“But then we were very passive in our pressing and counter-pressing, which allowed Pirates to play forward with virtually no pressure.

“It didn’t hurt us badly but it was threatening to hurt us, and we said at halftime that if they were going to hurt us that was how it was going to be.

“So we needed to put better pressure on the ball, we needed to make sure we shifted our defenders more quickly to get on the right side and to make sure our distances were better.”

“For example [Chiefs right-back] Njabulo Blom I thought had a bit of a dodgy first half but a good second half.

“I thought we had more chances. And with the result I was wondering if this was going to be one of those games where I had to come to the media afterwards and say, ‘I thought we did well, but ... we missed chances, but we gave away what I thought was a poor goal, Bernard losing the ball in the last five minutes on transition and then screwing up in a couple of areas.'

“But the lads came back, they pushed on hard, and in the critical phase, and in bad weather, you do get that sort of thing, defenders can panic. We got ourselves a penalty and won the game, and I have to say that it was deserved.”


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