Orlando Pirates' Soweto Derby player ratings
Posted: 3 March 2018 Time: 22:30
KickOff.com rates the individual performances of the Orlando Pirates players in their Absa Premiership Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs.
Siyabonga Mpontshane – 7
Arguably a surprise inclusion, Mpontshane warranted his place in the starting line-up ahead of Jackson Mabokgwane. Though he was well beaten by Leonardo Castro’s headed effort in the first half, he picked himself up to command his area with Siphiwe Tshabalala constantly threatening with aerial balls. Also thwarted Castro from picking up a second goal on numerous occasions.
Mthokozisi Dube – 6
Dube looked solid in defence, dealing with the threat of Philani Zulu and Siphiwe Tshabalala, while also combining well with Thembinkosi Lorch in attack down the flank .
Happy Jele – 6
Lead from the back as he commanded the defence alongside Ntsikelelo Nyauza. Their combination proved resilient, and a lapse of concentration lead to conceding from a set-piece.
Ntsikelelo Nyauza – 7
As mentioned, Nyazua’s partnership with Jele has developed well, having both previously played as right-backs. Their communication and understanding of one another was key to keeping the Chiefs attackers under control. He also played an instrumental role in Pirates’ third goal, surging forward to set Justin Shonga on his way to assisting Luvuyo Memela.
Innocent Maela - 6
Maela was effective down the left-hand side, both in attack and defence. Covered his line well and showed good discipline and awareness to sit-back in the latter stages of the match as Chiefs looked to force their way back into the match. Gave Joseph Molangoane and Rama Mphahlele little room to manoeuvre past him.
Gladwin Shitolo - 7
Shitolo put in a great shift in midfield, alongside Musa Nyatama. Made a number of crucial tackles, and notably denied Siphiwe Tshabalala a shy at goal early on in the first half. Dealt well with ‘Shabba’ and Wiseman Meyiwa, as well as Pule Ekstein who came on in the second half.
Musa Nyatama – 7
Covered good ground and was influential both in defence and attack, with his assist for Pirates’ second goal quite special to watch, beating four defenders with his run from deep and then laying off for Luvuyo Memela to fire home from inside the box.
Xola Mlambo – 7
Controlled proceedings and the tempo of Pirates’ play with his distribution from central midfield. Mlambo looked a natural as he soaked up the pressure in his maiden Soweto Derby appearance.
Thembinkosi Lorch - 7
Lorch started off slightly ahead of the pace, being caught out offside on three occasions. Positioned himself well to pick up Willard Katsande’s poor clearance, and showed great composure to create space for himself to fire home the opening goal in the 21st minute. Was replaced by Mpho Makola after 72 minutes.
Bernard Morrison – 5
Despite having gained in confidence with a brace against Ajax Cape Town, the Soweto Derby still proved slightly too big an occasion for Morrison, who drifted in and out of the game in the first half, often leaving strike-partner Justin Shonga isolated.
Justin Shonga – 7
Shonga gave a good account of himself in his Soweto Derby debut, playing a bit deeper in the first half as he saw little of the ball. He had a great chance to score but was denied by excellent goalkeeping from Itumeleng Khune in the 58th minute, and later unselfishly set Memela up for Pirates’ third goal in the 74th minute. Was replaced by countryman Augustine Mulenga in the 85th minute.
Luvuyo Memela – 8
Came on to replace Bernard Morrison in the 46th minute. Was clinical upon his arrival and gave Pirates a new dimension in the second half. Both his goals were excellently taken, showing good technique and composure.
Mpho Makola – N/A
Came on to replace Thembinkosi Lorch in the 72nd minute. Did not play long enough for a rating.
Augstine Mulenga – N/A
Came on to replace Justin Shonga in the 85th minute. Did not play long enough for a rating.