What we learnt from the Derby

Lorch has been Pirates’ best player

The former Chippa United player is having the season of his life and the goal he scored against Amakhosi on Saturday shows just how much he has improved over the last year and a half or so. His finishing in front of goal is much better, so too is his decision-making. The goal Lorch scored on Saturday took him to double figures for the season. 

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Mashiane has a bright future

He may have been taken off at half-time, but this youngster has a bright future as an Amakhosi player. Before the Soweto Derby, questions were asked if Mashiane would be ready to play in such a big game, but he gave a good account of himself and showed that head coach Ernst Middendorp should not be afraid to put him in during the big games.

Ernst got it wrong

Bringing on Willard Katsande for Leonardo Castro in the 66th minute proved to be the wrong decision by Middendorp. At the time Chiefs were leading 1-0 and they had the upper hand, putting the Pirates defence under pressure. But they invited pressure when they brought on a defensive-minded player for an attacker, and Pirates capitalised as they equalised.

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Chiefs should focus on the Nedbank Cup

Chiefs’ chances of winning the league right now have all but faded and they should probably invest more time in trying to win the Nedbank Cup, while ensuring that they do not drop out of the top eight in the league. They at least have a realistic chance of winning the Nedbank Cup, with some of the big guns already out of the competition. 

Middendorp has not found his strongest line-up

Granted, he has only been in charge at Amakhosi for two months and he did not have a pre-season. Middendorp is clearly still trying to find his best line-up and it does not help him that some of his players, such as Lebogang Manyama, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Philani Zulu, have been in and out with injuries.