No favourites for Soweto Derby
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – WHOEVER said a week is a short time in sport certainly had Orlando Pirates in mind.
Just this time last week, the Soweto giants were going through a horrible spell that had the multitudes of fans demanding the dismissal of head coach Eric Tinkler.
Such was the dire situation in the Ghost’s camp that they headed to last Saturday’s Soweto Derby against sworn rivals Kaizer Chiefs as outright underdogs.
They would go on to turn the tables against Chiefs in a one-sided game Chiefs have to thank goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune the scores ended 3-1 and did not reach rugby proportions.
The Derby appears to have been the tonic Pirates needed. In midweek the side recorded a rare victory (2-1) away at Ajax Cape Town.
On the back of such a transformation, the Buccaneers have another date with Chiefs in the second official Soweto Derby, this time in the Telkom Knockout semifinals.
Kick off is 15h00 at the First National Bank Stadium, the venue of last Saturday’s slaughter.
With a place in the decider and R4,2 million at stake for the winners of the final, the stage has been set for a potentially explosive derby that this time has no “favourites” with both sides having secured wins in midweek. Chiefs returned to winning ways with a convincing 3-1 victory over Golden Arrows.
Chiefs captain Siphiwe Tshabalala said while the derby defeat left a bitter taste, his side was not motivated by revenge.
“For us, it is all about playing good football and doing well for ourselves and our supporters,” he said ahead of the match.
Pirates striker, Thabo Rakhale, concurred last week’s result would have no bearing on the outcome of the match on Saturday.
“It is not about the previous result that we got against them,” he said. “It is a different ball-game. It is a new game,” he said.
Johannesburg-based analyst, Gugu Mcuphi Maphosa, predicted a closely-contested encounter.
“It is going to be a tricky match. This one is a cup game and every team wants to have a trophy at the ends of the season. Judging from the midweek matches the two teams played well and recorded victories,” Maphosa said.
He however tipped Chiefs to bounce back.
“I have my money on Chiefs winning this one. It is not always that you beat this club back-to-back. We can’t wait who will be the boss of Soweto this time around,” Maphosa said.
– CAJ News
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