Maart’s magnificent strike handed the Amakhosi a fourth straight official win over the Buccaneers. Something they have not achieved since winning six in succession in the early 1990s. The win also saw them rise above their rivals into third place on the log on 21 points. Pirates dropped to fifth spot on 19 points.
SOWETO DERBY ACTION
Bucs were the more aggressive team early on and created the first clear chance in the fourth minute, with Kermit Erasmus teeing up Monnapule Saleng on the right side of the penalty area, but the attacker’s low effort from a tight angle was blocked by the legs of goalkeeper Brandon Petersen.
Chiefs soon settled into the game and began dominating possession, creating half-chances for Keagan Dolly (whose deflected effort was tipped wide by Siyabonga Mpontshane) and Khama Billiat (who couldn’t get clean connection at the far post from Dillon Solomons’ cross) inside the opening quarter hour.
Billiat had another chance just past the midway point of the first half when he met Dolly’s free kick delivery from the left flank, but his header flashed high and wide of the target.
Pirates then suffered an injury blow when defender Innocent Maela appeared to pull up with a hamstring strain. Necessitating the introduction of Paseka Mako as a substitute in the 28th minute.
The next threat on goal came from Erasmus just after the half hour mark, with the Pirates striker turning away from a couple of defenders outside the box before sending a skidding, left-footed effort just wide of the mark.
MORE CHANCES FOR AMAKHOSI
Chiefs created two great chances to claim the lead on 34 and 36 minutes. Both of which put the speedy Ashley Du Preez in behind Olisa Ndah. But on both occasions the attacker was denied one-on-one by goalkeeper Mpontshane.
The Amakhosi’s first-half domination prompted a double change at the start of the second stanza from the Buccaneers, who introduced Fortune Makaringe and Kabelo Dlamini to try and wrestle back some control.
Yet the team in all-black were forced into another injury change just before the hour mark. Goodman Mosele succumbed to what appeared to be a knee issue, with Ben Motshwari parachuted into central midfield.
On 61 minutes Pirates’ attack finally clicked again, as Mako’s driving run from the left led to a sight of goal for Erasmus. He sent a shot through a crowd of defenders and just wide of Peterson’s left-hand post.
YUSUF MAART STUNNER
The deadlock was broken in extraordinary fashion in the 74th minute. Chiefs’ Yusuf Maart scored one of the greatest goals in Soweto derby history.
The ball was stolen in the middle of the park and shuffled along to Maart. He spotted Mpontshane off his line and went for goal from a few metres inside his own half. The ball drifted perfectly beyond the reach of the ‘keeper and gave the Amakhosi a deserved lead.
Pirates looked for a quick response through shots from Saleng and Motshwari which flashed off target. But those hopeful efforts were as close as they came to finding an equaliser, as Chiefs saw out the remainder of the match with grim determination in defence.
Pirates will next be in action on Saturday 5 November when they face AmaZulu in the MTN8 final. Chiefs’ next match will be against the Buccaneers in the revamped Carling Black Label Cup on Saturday 12 November.