Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs drew 1-1 in the MTN8 Cup soccer semi-final first leg played at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night as Zimbabwe international Knowledge Musona was on target once again.
The goals were both scored in the second-half, Isaac Chansa for Pirates in the 47th minute and the equaliser by Musona on the hour.
It took a while for either team to really warm up.
Pirates looked nervous while Chiefs seemed unable to play their usual passing game, but somehow after the half hour mark both teams stepped it up a gear which made for a frantic ending to the first half.
It began with Lucky Lekgwathi going close to heading Pirates into the lead when he managed to slip in behind the Chiefs defence off a free kick, but his effort lacked direction and missed the target.
Four minutes on and Chiefs finally found their rhythm: a series of quick passes eventually led to Siphiwe Tshabalala sending Mandla Masango into space through the middle, who in turn sent the ball wide to Musona.
The Chiefs attacker tore away from Lekgwathi and fired at goal, only for Moeneeb Josephs to pull off a magnificent goal-line stop by blocking the ball with both hands.
Dominic Isaacs then missed the target from close range for Chiefs off a Tshabalala free kick, heading the ball wide in the 38th minute from close by.
Whatever the first half might have lacked in attacking content, the second stanza made up for it as both teams tore up their defensive scriptbook and went on the offensive.
It was Pirates who got the early break through scoring in the 47th minute. Klate swung in a perfect corner from the right; Modise was able to get up and flicked it to the back post. Somehow the ball fell invitingly into the path of Chansa, who hit in mid-air past Khune to hand the home side the lead.
Chiefs did not lie back after going a goal behind and pushed forward looking for the equaliser and it duly arrived.
Tau did the hard work as he stormed up the right wing, taking on Cloete and beating him before sending a low cross into the box towards Musona, who controlled the ball before shooting past Josephs who made a lethargic attempt at trying to stop the ball.
Eight minutes on, Musona wasted a great scoring chance by firing wide when he dispossessed the Pirates defence.
The arrival of Tlou Segolela onto the scene seemed to give Pirates the edge they were in search of.
He went on a scintillating run in the 77th minute from deep in his own half down the left wing as he got past the challenges of three Chiefs defenders – he was able to play in a dangerous ball which fell to Modise at the far post.
He made a hash of the chance and his effort on goal turned out to be a back pass towards Nahayo, who cleared the danger.
Nine minutes from the end, Segolela was at it again, shooting the ball towards goal from around 25 metres out.
He had Khune diving across goal to block his attempt with one hand. The teams finished 1-1, a result that puts Chiefs in the driving seat ahead of the return leg in a fortnight’s time.
—Sports Reporter/Kick off