SOCCER

Tea without sugar is what the Pirates coach describes proceedings at derby

22 October 2017 - 03:13 By SAZI HADEBE

No one could have described this Soweto derby draw as aptly as Orlando Pirates coach Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic did at fulltime. "It is like tea without sugar," said the Serbian of the goalless draw.
It became a contest between in-form Chiefs goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune and sizzling-hot Pirates midfielder Thabo Qalinge who forced stupendous saves from Khune.
The result is probably enough to buy Chiefs coach Steve Komphela some more time with the point gained here against their arch-rivals giving him four points in a space four days this week.Komphela's week started on a high note when debutant Siyabonga Ngezana and Bernard Parker's goals gave his side a surprise 2-1 win over Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Stadium on Tuesday night.
The win also helped Komphela and his team in bringing a deserved birthday present to Chiefs supremo, Kaizer Motaung, who turned 73 on Monday.
This week was expected to be a crucial for one for Komphela regarding his future at Chiefs given his team's stuttering start to the season.
Fuelling anger among the Chiefs faithful, especially those who have long been eager to see the back of Komphela, is the fact that he is in his third season at Chiefs, but yet to deliver a single trophy to add to the four league titles and 12 cup competitions Amakhosi have won since the formation of the PSL in 1996-97 season.
In accepting his spoils, Khomphela should once again thank Khune, chiefly for the save he made on Qalinge's point blank volley inside the six yard box in the 54th minute.
Chiefs had a poor first half in which they lacked cohesion and time on the ball. Their only highlight came when Ngezana's header hit the upright in the 38th minute after Maluleke's free kick.Most of Chiefs' chances came in the second half - a far cry from their midweek defeat of Sundowns.
But credit should be given to Pirates for not allowing Chiefs players to have much time on the ball, especially in dangerous areas.
Pirates had problems of their own coming into this match on a back of a three-match winless streak.
Bucs coach Sredojevic's frustration with the lack of positive results was even more evident in his line-up in which he made four changes to his last team sheet while Komphela started with the Tuesday team.
The changes Sredojevic made surprisingly included target man Thamsanqa Gabuza, who is a leading scorer for Bucs with three league goals.
Gabuza's height was sorely missed up front by Bucs.

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