Mathebula settles Derby clash


Pirates were perhaps the better side on the day, but as has been so for most of this season, they could not put the ball in the back of the net.

Chiefs improved in the second half, but were happy to sit back and soak up Pirates pressure, attempting to hit them on the break, and move into the top eight.

1 mins: And we kick-off under perfect skies. It is a hot day in Mafikeng.

5 mins: A much slower start to this game than the corresponding fixture in Durban in November, when Chiefs were ahead after 19 seconds through Mabhuti Khenyeza, who is suspended for today.

9 mins: Pirates are attacking down the flanks, especially the lefthand side, with Mokoena and Jele linking up well. They have yet to test Khune though. Another attack sees Masehe cross for Walaza, but the striker is inches away from connecting from close-range. Chiefs look tentative.

13 mins: The first real attempt on goal comes as an off-balance Walaza heads high and wide from 10 yards. Chiefs have still yet to spend any real amount of time in the Pirates half.

14 mins What a chance! Chenene sets up Modise with an excellent opportunity, but the Bafana Bafana midfielder fires onto the crossbar and over from seven yards. He should have scored.

19 mins: Khune comes right to the edge of his area to collect a Modise cross, but he spills the ball and Chiefs scramble clear. The error sums-up a nervous Chiefs in the early part of this game.

23 mins: Lovelly footwork from Chenene sees the winger create space for himself in the box and fire in a low shot with his less-favoured right foot. Khune saves easily though.

28 mins: Chiefs’ first opportunity sees Mathebula back-heel from the byline to Zwane, who should have shot from eight yards out, but instead tries to find Tshabalala with a pass and the chance is cleared. It takes 26 minutes for Chiefs to create a half-chance.

33 mins: Pirates win a free-kick on the edge of the area, a bit to the left of central and Modise steps up, but they make a hash of it and the shot is charged down. Meyiwa makes a brilliant point-blank save from Bartlett’s header. That was the best chance of the game so far.

35 mins: A brilliant cross from Mdledle finds Masehe six-yards out, but the striker glances his header just over the bar. Another great chance for the visitors.

36 mins: GOAL! After soaking up all the pressure, it is Chiefs who have the lead! Bartlett beats Makita for pace and produces a brilliant low cross that is slid into the net by the on-rushing Mathebula from just a few yards out. Against the run of play, but coach Muhsin Ertugral won’t care!

40 mins: And it should have been 2-0! Mathebula is put through on goal, but a bad first-touch moves him wide. He crosses low, however, for Tshabalala, who somehow slices wide from seven yards. Unbelievable miss!

HALFTIME: Pirates will be wondering how they are behind in this match, but in truth Chiefs should be 2-0 up. Still, they have one goal to show for a half in which they spent much of the time under pressure in their own half, but grabbed a well-worked goal through Mathebula.

46 mins: And we’re back underway with the second half.

50 mins: An excellent run by Zwane down the right sees the winger cross for Mathebula, but the ball is behind him and he does well to back-heel the ball towards goal. It beats Meyiwa, but Makita is able to clear off the line.

54 mins: Mdledle received a YELLOW CARD for a challenge on Bartlett. The first of the afternoon. Mokoena beats Bhasera and fires a low shot across goal which forces an excellent save from Khune.

59 mins: Pirates are pushing forward in search of the equalizer, but are being met by a wall of gold shirts.

64 mins: Modise is shown a YELLOW CARD by referee Charl Theron following a foul on Tshabalala. The first change of the afternoon comes as Zwane leaves the scene, to be replaced by Phala.

70 mins: The game is loosening up now with end-to-end action, but wayward shooting is letting both sides down. The next goal will be so important, as if Pirates ship a second, that should be game, set and match.

75 mins: Gumbi gets a YELLOW CARD for bringing down Tshabalala, but Sibeko fires the free-kick into the wall. Segolela comes on to replace Masehe and straight away his pace creates space on the right, but his cut-back to Walaza is cleared.

81 mins: McCarthy gets a YELLOW CARD as he brings down Segolela. Pirates appeal for handball in the area as Mokoena’s shot strikes the arm of McCarthy, but referee Theron says no.

85 mins: Mathebula is replaced by Motaung Junior for the final eight minutes. Pirates continue to look the most likely team to score with a succession of corners, but the Chiefs defence is holding firm. Phala makes an excellent break on the counter-attack, but his final shot is woeful. Modise is replaced by Ramudzuli.

86 mins: Gumbi gets a second booking and a RED CARD from referee Theron. He had to go.

FULLTIME: Walaza has the ball in the back of the net, but the goal is disallowed for a foul on Khune. As Khune went to grab the cross, he was caught by Walaza in the ‘nether regions’. The goalkeeper dropped the ball and Walaza slotted home, but the whistle had already gone. Spencer comes on for Tshabalala.

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