Chiefs dent Pirates' title hopes


A stunning overhead kick from Samir Nurkovic got Kaizer Chiefs back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates in the 100th Soweto Derby at FNB Stadium on Sunday.

Chiefs made four changes with Samir Nurkovic, Daniel Cardoso, Reeve Frosler and Siyabonga Ngezana coming into the side.

For Pirates, Fortune Makaringe lost his place to Siphesihle Ndlovu came into the starting line-up, while Siyabonga Mpontshane was once again preferred to Wayne Sandilands in Richard Ofori's absence.

The first opportunity came Chiefs' way. The ball was whipped into the Pirates box and it was cleared out to the edge of the box to Bernard Parker, whose powerful rising shot grazed the crossbar as it went over.

In the 20th minute, Parker turned creator as he fed in Happy Mashiane in plenty of space on the right-hand side of the box and the Amakhosi starlet tried to curl the ball towards the far corner on his favoured left foot but it was a tame effort in the end and easily saved by Mpontshane.

The Glamour Boys were not afraid of taking long shots and the next player to unleash was Nkosingiphile Ngcobo as his sweetly-struck effort fizzed over the bar.

Njabulo Blom then burst through the Pirates midfield with a brilliant turn of pace and he found Parker on the overlap on the right-hand side who almost found Nurkovic at the back post but for a timely intervention by Ntsikelelo Nyauza.

Buccaneers boss Josef Zinnbauer changed from a back four to a back three at half-time, replacing defender Nyauza with midfielder Fortune Makaringe and Linda Mntambo with Kabelo Dlamini.

Nurkovic got his wish of scoring in a derby in the 54th minute, as Pirates let the ball bounce not once but twice which allowed Lazarous Kambole to head the ball back to Nurkovic, who shielded the ball before finishing with an audacious overhead kick.

In the 69th minute, the Mathoho failed to clear his lines and the ball fell to Makaringe in the box but his effort was slightly wide of the left-hand upright.

Nurkovic had a glorious opportunity to double his and his side's tally when he was brilliantly played through on goal by Mashiane but he blasted his effort wide of Mpontshane's near post from a slight angle on the right-hand side.

Chiefs boss Gavin Hunt then brought on Philani Zulu for Mashiane in order to preserve his side's lead going into the final ten minutes. And Hunt's side managed to hold on and end their losing run against their arch-rivals and move to the cusp of the last eight.

Confirmed line-ups:

Chiefs: Akpeyi, Frosler, Cardoso, Mathoho, Ngezana, Mashiane, Blom, Ngcobo, Parker, Kambole, Nurkovic.

Subs: Bvuma, Katsande, Moleko, Agay, Sasman, Zulu, Matsheke, Lesako, Radebe.

Pirates: Mpontshane, Hlatshwayo, Maela, Nyauza, Mako, Monare, Motshwari, Ndlovu, Pule, Hotto, Mntambo.

Subs: Sandilands, Mabaso, Dzvukamanja, Tshobeni, Dlamini, Jooste, Makaringe, Mabasa, Mhango

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