Soweto Derby: Analysis

The Buccaneers edged Amakhosi 1-0 in the first leg of their MTN8 semi-final on Saturday.

Report: Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates MTN8 semi-final first leg

Daine Klate decided the Soccer City affair with a brilliant free-kick early on, giving his club the ascendancy for the return duel at Orlando Stadium on September 24.

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Pirates team selection

Pirates coach Roger de Sa essentially picked the same side that demolished Zamalek 4-1 in the Champions League last time out.

The only difference was that Lehlogonolo Maselesa started on this occasion instead of the injured Andile Jali.

Maselesa was the natural choice to partner Oupa Manyisa in central midfield given the unavailability of Jali (thigh injury) and fellow casualty Thandani Ntshumayelo (foot injury), while striker Collins Mbesuma again missed out with an ankle complaint.

Pirates starting XI: Senzo Meyiwa, Happy Jele, Thabo Matlaba, Rooi Mahamutsa, Lucky Lekgwathi, Lehlogonolo Masalesa, Oupa Manyisa, Sifiso Myeni, Lennox Bacela, Daine Klate, Tlou Segolela

Chiefs team selection

Amakhosi mentor Stuart Baxter also opted for continuity, but took the gamble of starting Lehlohonolo Majoro ahead of marquee signing Knowledge Musona.

Majoro, who has scored twice in the Derby before, failed to make an impact in a poor opening half for the hosts, resulting in Musona's entry at the break.

Musona impressed after coming on, getting into good scoring positions, but the Zimbabwean's shooting was off, perhaps indicative of subsiding confidence.

Chiefs starting XI: Itumeleng Khune, Siboniso Gaxa, Mulomowandau Mathoho, Tefu Mashamaite, Tsepo Masilela, Willard Katsande, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, George Lebese, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Bernard Parker

Match wrap

In a physical tie, the Sea Robbers started strongly, scoring via Klate 12 minutes in after Lennox Bacela was felled on the edge of the area by ex-Bloemfontein Celtic teammate Mulomowandau Mathoho.

It was just reward, as Pirates controlled the opening 35 minutes, with Man of the Match Maselesa, Manyisa, Klate, Tlou Segolela and Sifiso Myeni dominating the midfield exchanges.

Amakhosi's engine room was overawed, with enforcer Willard Katsande put on the back foot after receiving a fourth minute caution for a studs-up challenge on Segolela.

Baxter's men were previously in competitive action 14 days ago, and seemingly lacked the sharpness of their opponents, who have been kept busy with their CAF commitments. Despite Bucs' pressure, Chiefs skipper and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was rarely forced into action apart from collecting Klate's effort out the back of his net. The hosts gained some momentum towards the end of the stanza but were deservedly down at the break.

The Glamour Boys improved after the recess, with midfielders Siphiwe Tshabalala and Reneilwe Letsholonyane starting to combine, while substitute Musona looked lively in the final third.

The Premiership champions went agonisingly close to equalising in the 68th minute but Bernard Parker was denied by the post from a tight angle after cleverly escaping his marker, Buccaneers skipper Lucky Lekgwathi.

The sides traded useful efforts in the latter stages, with Tshabalala testing keeper Senzo Meyiwa with a fierce drive in the 71st minute. But the visitors held firm, giving them renewed confidence for their rematch with Zamalek in Egypt on September 1.

Redemption

Few would have been happier to net the winner than Klate, who infamously scored an own goal in a 3-1 League loss to Chiefs two seasons ago. The former SuperSport United winger's telling strike also reasserted his reputation as one of the country's top set-piece specialists.  

Talking point

Musona was lucky to escape a red card in the 57th minute for throwing a vicious elbow at Lekgwathi, which narrowly failed to connect.

The Premier Soccer League may take retrospective action, as the incident was missed by the match officials. A potential ban would only heap further pressure on Musona, who has yet to score since returning to Naturena on loan from Hoffenheim.

The 23-year-old netted 15 PSL goals for the Glamour Boys in the 2010/11 campaign before departing for Germany. 

Derby debuts

Pirates duo Maselesa and Thamsanqa Gabuza got their first taste of South Africa's most famous fixture, with the former shining in the middle of the park.

Gabuza, on the books of Golden Arrows last season, made his bow off the bench, taking the place of Bacela. The physical hitman looked off the pace but briefly threatened when he headed a Segolela cross over late on.

Fellow recruits Bacela and Kermit Erasmus opened their Derby accounts in the 1-0 pre-season loss to Amakhosi in the Carling Black Label Cup.

Referee Phillip Tinyane also participated in his first Soweto Derby, doing a creditable job in managing some flaring tempers.

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