Soweto Derby ends goalless

It was a game of two halves as Bucs dominated the first stanza.

Bucs appeared to be searching for an early goal as Katlego Mashego twice breached Chiefs’ defence with splitting passes, but Thulasizwe Mbuyane was slow to react as Itumeleng Khune came out to collect on two similar occasions.

In the 19th minute Dikgang Mabalane hit the side-netting but it was not good enough to beat the country’s number 1 keeper, Khune.

It took 16 more minutes before Bucs created another chance, which was wasted in the end. Bennett Chenene broke free on the left in the 35th minute to deliver a good cross, which flew past the face of Khune’s goal, with Mbuyane and Mashego ball-watching.

On the stroke of halftime Chiefs almost caught a flat-footed Bucs defence as Abia Nale beat Lucas Thwala on the left to deliver a great cross but Knowledge Musona failed to capitalize when he tried to slide it in.

It was 0-0 at the interval. Chiefs’ head coach Vladimir Vermezovic introduced Mandla Masango in Josta Dladla’s place for the start of the second half.

However, the change brought no joy for the multitude of Chiefs fans, who appeared to outnumber their bitter rivals.

The second stanza started at a very slow pace and it was only in the 61st minute when Khune produced a great save to deny Pirates a goal.

Lucas Thwala powerfully headed Lucky Lekgwathi’s cross, but Khune tipped it over the crossbar for a corner, which failed to produce a goal for Bucs.

Gert Schalkwyk replaced the injured Chenene in the 71st minute, but was a shadow of his self against his former employers.

Substitute Nkosinathi Nhleko could have won it for Chiefs, after coming on for Siphiwe Tshabalala in the 65th minute.

With the game heading to the end, the former Jomo Cosmos striker was unlucky when his shot from inside the box hit the post with Josephs well-beaten.

Musona then got two great chances but failed to punish a stretched Pirates defence. The ‘Silent Assassin’ failed to connect Masenamela’s pinpoint cross from the left and a minute later the young Zimbabwean’s shot was blocked by the Bucs defence, who were lucky to come away with a point in the last 10 minutes that Chiefs dominated.

It ended 0-0, raising questions again as to whether it is still the best Derby it used to be in the country in years gone by.