Kaizer Chiefs extended their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership with an entertaining 3-2 victory over Orlando Pirates in Soweto derby on Saturday
Ntsikelelo Nyauza captained Pirates in place of the suspended Happy Jele, as Thembinkosi Lorch returned from a one-match suspension, whilst Chiefs welcomed back Daniel Akpeyi, Reeve Frosler, Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro.
Early pressure from Leonardo Castro forced Nyauza to head the ball over Wayne Sandilands and into the net inside the first minute- giving the Amakhosi a perfect start. Pirates nearly drew an instant response when Fortune Makaringe side-footed against the upright.
The Amakhosi did all the questioning thereafter as Samir Nurkovic’s back post header put Sandilands in a spot of bother at the midway stage.
After forcing the opener, Castro went and bagged his own on 28 minutes after leaping ahead of Xola Mlambo from a corner to leave Sandilands flat-footed to double Chiefs' lead.
The Buccaneers hit back seven minutes before the break when a free-kick on the near side from Vincent Pule sailed in at Akpeyi's near post.
Pirates threatened a comeback five minutes after the break when Gabadinho Mhango picked out Lorch with pin-point delivery, but the latter headed off the post, before Pule hit the crossbar on 58 minutes.
The Buccaneers pulled through a minute later when Mhango cut inside of Frosler to curl into the far corner beyond the reach of Daniel Akpeyi.
However, the Amakhosi were given a penalty in the last eight minutes after Paseka Mako brought down substitute Bernard Parker, leaving Daniel Cardoso to fire through the middle to restore their lead.
There was no glamor ending for the hosts though as Mathoho received his marching orders following an off-the-ball incident in added time. However, the Amakhosi managed to hold on to clinch all the points to stretch their lead at the top of the table to 10 points.
Chiefs: Akpeyi, Frosler, Tower, Cardoso, Sasman, Katsande, Maluleka, Manyama, Billiat, Castro, Nurkovic
Subs: Bvuma, Parker, Zuma, Kambole, Ntiya-Ntiya, Ngezana, Blom.
Pirates: Sandilands, Maela, Nyauza (c), Mabaso, Motshwari, Mlambo, Makaringe, Mako, Lorch, Pule, Mhango
Subs: Mpontshane, Chabalala, Ndlovu, Mntambo, Mabasa, Mulenga, Shonga.