Orlando Pirates more than matched Kaizer Chiefs in Saturday’s Soweto derby at FNB Stadium, yet they managed to end up empty handed.
After having shown great character in midweek to come from a goal down to beat Sekhukhune United 2-1, hopes would have been high that Pirates could win the derby and begin to think about turning the corner in what has been a frustratingly inconsistent season.
And overall, they played well enough.
Head coach Fadlu Davids certainly thought so.
“I think total dominance, from the first half to the end of the match. We said to the players at half time, with the dominance, you have to score and that has been a little bit our Achilles Heel at the moment,” he told SuperSport TV.
“On top of that, gifting opposition goals. If you really look at it, gifting them the first goal, the second goal whether it’s a penalty is questionable. But really total dominance from start to finish.”
It did seem that the Buccaneers threw away the chance to claim even a point, mainly due to their own doing.
Two moments of self destruction
Chiefs were gifted the opener when captain Thulani Hlatshwayo badly under-hit a backpass, which was seized upon by Khama Billiat, who then played in Keagan Dolly to finish off with a goal.
Then, having fought back to level matters with Linda Mntambo’s 87th minute equaliser, Nigeria-born defender Oliseh Ndah pushed the self-destruct button with a clumsy challenge – replays show him pulling Billiat round the neck inside the Bucs box – which resulted in Dolly slotting a 92nd minute penalty.
Toothless up front
With several key forwards out injured, the hope had been that Tshegofatso Mabasa would be the man to lead the Bucs line to good effect.
But despite getting himself into the Bafana Bafana squad, Mabasa’s form has dipped a bit over the past month and he wasn’t even in the starting XI.
New signing Kwame Peprah showed glimpses of promise but didn’t do much before being subbed. And while Terrence Dzvukamanja’s header was spilled by Daniel Akpeyi, which led to Linda Mntambo’s goal, Pirates have not been offering much of a threat up front for some time now – most of their goals have come from midfield and even defence.
Bucs fans may well be envious of the kind of partnership that Chiefs pair Dolly and Billiat are enjoying.