Pro Philani takes a look back the weekend's domestic football action which saw important wins for Sundowns and Pirates in the DStv Prem, while Platinum City Rovers continue their fine GladAfrica Championship form.
Happy Jele – 400 not out
The original Soweto derby didn’t live up to expectations as the sides tentatively danced around one another for majority of the match. Both were wasteful from set plays and it became unclear where the goal would come from.
A crazy moment in the 8th minute of the match saw Swallows midfielder, Matlou, celebrate putting a ‘shibobo’ through a Pirates player, an incident which left coach Brenden Truter screaming at the player, demanding of him to release the ball to a free teammate who was down on the wing.
Second-half substitute, Tshegofatso Mabasa replaced Deon Hotto to find the only goal of the match.
Orlando Pirates captain, Jele, would be the happiest man on the day as he was honoured by Pirates when he appeared for the 400th time in the famous shirt, and would go on to scoop the man of the match award too.
Galaxy, Arrows square up in a thrilling encounter.
TS Galaxy came twice from behind to force a draw against Lamontville Golden Arrows in Mpumalanga.
Arrows went up first via a penalty through danger man Michael Gumede. Captain on the day, Mxolisi Macuphu, equalized for Galaxy on the stroke of half time. It was Arrows again who retook the lead in the second half and looked set to take all three points but it was not meant to be as Galaxy came back again in the dying moments.
Hlongwane sees red on club return following Bafana heroics
Following his exploits in the Bafana shirt, 21-year old Bongokuhle Hlongwane received his marching orders for a second bookable offence from referee Abongile Tom in the 50th minute when Maritzburg United Baroka at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Coach Ernst Midderndorp told reporters he felt there was no need to manage Hlongwane’s new-found fame. He felt the player worked hard for the position he finds himself in at both national and at club level, and deserves to enjoy whatever was coming his way. Midderndorp added during the unveiling of the club’s partnership with the charity organization Gift of the Givers, “I don’t know (if) he needs (any) special dealings.”
Maritzburg United went ahead in the first half through a goal by the new signing Richard Zumah. From there on, it was Baroka that increased the tempo of the game, looking for an equalizer, but the Maritzburg side were in no mood to give away any goals.
There was no shortage of drama as referee Abongile Tom showed two red cards on the night, one on each side, and a cameraman left injured after Baroka captain Sibiya couldn’t control his movements after clearing the ball.
Royal AM earn first top-flight win
A 51st-minute penalty was calmly converted by Bafana striker Victor Letsoalo and was enough to give ‘Spice People’ a ‘Thwihli Thwahla’ kind of a win against high flying Chippa United at the Chatsworth Stadium in Durban.
From the first whistle, it was the home side that were on teh front foot. The ‘Spice People’ were dealt a major blow after captain Ndumiso Mabena was subbed in the first half due to suspected torn ankle ligaments.
The responsibility to lead the side off the bottom of the log was left on the shoulders of goal scorer Letsoalo who is also the first-ever Royal AM player to be called up in the Bafana Bafana squad.
Chippa had their first shot on target in the 69th minute, as AM closed all attacks to hand Gavin Hunt his first defeat of the season.
Sundowns beat Chiefs on poor Loftus pitch
A poor Loftus pitch – torn up by the previous evening’s Currie Cup final- ruined what would’ve been a great spectacle between Sundowns and Chiefs. Sundowns, coming from a week of bad publicity with allegations of in-fighting among their three wise men, started brightly with new signing Grant Kekana finishing a great Lyle Lakay cross.
It was Chiefs who responded from all angles with Billiat, Dolly, and Nurkovic knocking on Sundowns’ door. Chiefs couldn’t capitalize on Onyango goalkeeping errors with the best of the chances going over the bar as Nurkovic failed to control his header.
As predicted by Siyanda Zwane on the #HitTheTarget Podcast, the mentality of the Sundowns players came to the fore the second half. First, it was Onyango who pulled a great one-handed save following a Hlanti header. Sundowns’ patience then paid off when substitute Neo Maema found Peter Shalulile in the box who made no mistake and converted Downs’ second.
Chiefs were afforded a lifeline when Rivaldo Coetzee was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box. Lebohang Manyama stepped up to take it but was denied by the woodwork.
Downs then looked to have settled the tie and controlled the pace of the match and dictated possession until the end. The champions lead the log table with 7 points, two points clear of the chasing pack.
Rovers continue to shine in GladAfrica Championship:
Platinum City Rovers continue with their fine form as they defeated Polokwane City 2-1 at home. The home side went 2-0 up early in the second half through veteran striker Thabiso Nkoana, after taking a one-goal lead into half time. Polokwane City could not find the equalizer they were looking for as the new boys took all the three points and remain top.
The KZN Derby was settled at the Princess Magogo stadium when Papi Zothwane’s Uthongathi took all three points against Richards Bay.
#GladAfricaChampionship | CITY ROVERS ON A ROLL— RayonMedia Sports (@RayonMediaSport) September 12, 2021
Platinum City Rovers continue to anchor the Glad Africa Championship standings after a 2 - 1 over Polokwane City on Saturday.
The North West side have a 100 percent record after winning 3 games out of 3 thus far.#RayonMedia pic.twitter.com/mOBXx61Qe0