KATSANDE FIRES CHIEFS TO VICTORY
By: Neo Goba & Nomfundo Mlaba
Orlando Pirates’ attempt to move up the Absa Premiership ladder was shattered when they stumbled to a 1-0 defeat by their rivals Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Willard Katsande’s goal in the second half ensured that Chiefs maintain their six points lead at the summit.
The Buccaneers enjoyed much of ball possession and created chances in the first half but keeper Reyaad Pieterse made brilliant saves to deny them goals. Pieterse replaced Itumeleng Khune who sustained an injury during pre-match warm up two weeks ago.
In the second half, the home side continued with their counter attacks but could not break the deadlock.
Katsande – who was named the Man of the Match- stunned the home crowd into silence after a corner from Sphiwe Tshabalala.
Former Chiefs player Lehlohonolo Majoro made his first debut for Pirates, but he’s presence didn’t cause any harm to Amakhosi.
Knowledge Musona had a chance to double the lead but his shot went into the side netting.
Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter praised his boys for displaying quality football.
“Pirates played very well in the first half. They created a few chances and got us worried at times. At halftime we spoke about going on attack and improving our transition play,” Baxter was quoted as saying on the club’s website.
“I am very happy with the results and proud of the guys, I think they really played well today. We have scored three goals from corner kicks this season. At Platinum Stars on Wednesday we hit the cross bar from the same situation. It is a rehearsed set play and we work hard on that.”
Baxter was impressed with goalkeeper Pieterse. “He has good character. Dennis Rudel has worked well with him. He is a strong character. We don’t have enough training sessions in this schedule but he has worked hard with Rudel to be in top shape.”