Kaizer Chiefs claimed a thrilling 3-1 win over Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with Zimbabwean striker Knowledge Musona netting twice in a superb man-of-the-match performance.
Musona’s goals, one at the end of the first half and one on the hour mark, added to an early own goal from Daine Klate. Pirates scored a late consolation through Nigerian Ezenwa Otorogu.
Chiefs got off to a stunning start, taking the lead after just six minutes. Knowledge Musona skinned left-back Lucky Lekgwathi, got to the by-line and fired in a low cross that Daine Klate could only turn into the back of his own net.
It was hard luck on the star winger, who was tracking back to try and help out his defence, but he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Pirates’ best attempts to draw level were generally fashioned from set pieces, with Klate almost embarrassing Itumeleng Khune with a floated free kick that drifted just wide of the keeper’s post, while a Dikgang Mabalane corner kick almost saw Rooi Mahamutsa and Lekgwathi force the ball home at the far post.
Klate also had a good scoring chance midway through the first half when he latched onto Thomas Sweswe’s weak headed clearance but was unable to keep his shot down.
In the last few minutes of the first half Chiefs doubled their lead from the penalty spot. Lekgwathi cut down Musona with a foolish late challenge and referee Buyile Gqubule correctly pointed to the spot.
The Zimbabwean striker coolly slotted home the penalty he had earned, handing the Amakhosi a 2-0 lead in the 42nd minute that they held through to the interval.
Pirates came out with more resolve in the second half and very nearly pulled one back in the opening minutes when Khune inexplicably fumbled a free kick but Happy Jele was unable to capitalise on the loose ball.
Andile Jali and Thulasizwe Mbuyane then blazed efforts just off target, but Chiefs soon extended their lead and effectively killed off their opponents.
Musona, ever the predator, sprinted onto a short back-header from Mahamutsa, lifted the ball over the stranded Moeneeb Josephs and headed home into an empty net to make it 3-0 on the hour mark.
Chiefs’ confidence went sky high and they began to play some fantasy football in which they should have further stretched the scoreline, but instead Pirates pulled one back with just under a quarter of an hour to play through substitute Ezenwa Otorogu, who finished sweetly with his left foot.
There were further scoring chances at both ends but neither side was able to add to the scoreline and the game finished 3-1 in favour of Kaizer Chiefs.
Pirates: (4-4-2) Josephs; Jele, Mahamutsa, Johannes, Lekgwathi; Mabalane (Mayambela 67’), Ngobeni, Jali, Klate (Otorogu 73’); Mbuyane, Msowoya (Segolela 63’)
Chiefs: (4-4-2) Khune; Tau, Sweswe, Isaacs, Masenamela; Dladla, Letsholonyane, Nengomasha, Tshabalala (Ncanana 77’); Musona (Nale 72’), Ngcobo (Yende 88’)