Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena is wary of the threat of Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, whom his side will have to get past to claim victory in today’s Soweto Derby.
Pirates will be looking to avenge their Telkom Knockout quarterfinal exit at the hands of their Soweto rivals in this afternoon’s sold-out Absa Premiership meeting at FNB Stadium.
After managing to take Chiefs all the way to extra-time and penalties with a one-man disadvantage, The Buccaneers are eager to prove they can claim victory with equal numbers over 90 minutes.
But Amakhosi’s defence has proven a tough nut to crack, coming into this tie with five consecutive clean sheets in the league, and Mokwena has since pointed out a major factor that has helped Ernst Middendorp’s side notch up this impressive statistic.
“As much as they’ve had five clean sheets, which is very good, the reality also is that Akpeyi is ranked as one of the top goalkeepers with regards to ‘super-saves’,” noted Mokwena.
“He has 14 super-saves in Kaizer Chiefs colours [this season], so that is the reality.
“The defence is standard; you know who will play and you know if it’s not [Najbulo] Blom then it’s [Reeve] Frosler.
“On Wednesday they have [Siya] Ngezana an opportunity, but normally it’s a Mathoho-Cardoso central partnership, and then [Yagan] Sasman plays on the left.
“So, you know what to expect from that; you know the key things they do, and from the goals they’ve conceded, you know more or less where they come from and which individuals make specific mistakes.”
Pressed for clarity on Akpeyi’s “super-saves”, Mokwena explained: “A super-save is classified as a save that should have been a goal, including one-vs-ones – clear goal scoring opportunities but where the goalkeeper denies that from going in.
“It’s a save that should be a goal; it’s classified as one the goalkeeper should not save.”