1 August 2011
The fans selected the players and made the substitutions, but that wasn’t enough to produce goals as Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs went to a penalty shootout after the Carling Black Label Cup finished in a goalless draw at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Ultimately, Pirates triumphed four-three from the penalty spot in a game which revealed why coaches select teams and not fans; what was missing from the line-ups was balance and it showed in the side’s performances. Not that passion and industry was missing from a clash between the Soweto rivals, it wasn’t.
It was clear, however, that this was a pre-season clash and with some players in unfamiliar positions the sharpness needed to finish off moves was absent.
Late kick off
Kick off was delayed by half-an-hour because of the late arrival of many fans, but it didn’t seem to have affected the players as the game got off to a fast and controversial start.
In the fourth minute, striker Lucky Khune found the back of the Buccanneers’ net, but his effort was disallowed because of a blatant hand ball which knocked the ball past goalkeeper Moneeb Josephs. Instead of getting on the scoresheet, Khune went into referee Victor Hlungwani’s book after being shown a yellow card.
Shortly after that Mark Mayembela created a fine chance for Pirates when he rounded the Chiefs’ defence down the right flank, but his cross to Chiukep Msowoya was at a difficult height and the striker could only knock the ball over the crossbar with a shot off his thigh.
Early in the second half Josephs denied Abia Nale a goal by leaving his line and closing down the space after Nale had been sent clear by Tinashe Nengomasha.
The fans then made the substitutions they wanted by voting by SMS. Msowoya was replaced by Sameehg Doutie, while Chiefs’ striker Sthembiso Ngcobo made way for Bafana Bafana forward Bernard Parker, who made his debut for the Amakhosi to the loud blaring of vuvuzelas.
Chiefs created a couple of half-chances, but Keegan Ritchie fired wildly over the top after a goalmouth scramble and Nengomasha came close with a snap shot that passed just wide of the goalkeeper’s left hand post.
And so it came down to a penalty shootout. Bafana Bafana netminder Itumeleng Khune came close to saving Pirates’ first penalty kick, but Oupa Manyisa’s effort had just enough height to beat the diving goalie.
Siphiwe Tshabalala levelled for the Amakhosi before Happy Jele made it two-one to Pirates. It was two-all when Parker sent Josephs the wrong way.
It remained two-all when Doutie missed for Pirates and Ritchie missed for Chiefs when his shot struck the bar. Successful penalties by Rooi Mahamutsa and Geraldo Sibeko then brought the teams level at three-all.
Pirates’ skipper Lucky Lekgwathi put the pressure back on Chiefs when he scored to make it four-three in favour of the Buccaneers.
Chiefs’ goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune stepped up to take his side’s fifth penalty, but it was a miserable effort, fired way over the crossbar and Pirates had won the Carling Black Label Cup.
Chiefs’ defender Dominic Isaacs downplayed his side’s loss to Pirates, which came on the back of a defeat to the Buccaneers in the Vodacom Challenge.
He told the PSL: “It was a friendly game. The team was chosen by the fans and we had a new coach,” he said of the fan that won the opportunity to manage the team on the day.
“The coach (fan) was very serious about his tactics, he even told us about the substitutions before the game. It was funny, and fun, all the guys had a good laugh at the pre-match meeting.”
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