Five things learned as Pirates beat Chiefs in TKO semi

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Justin Shonga of Orlando Pirates score a goal passed Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs
  • Post published:November 25, 2018

Orlando Pirates beat Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in the semi-final of the Telkom Knockout, a result which sees the Buccaneers take one step closer to ending their four-year trophy drought. SoccerClub writer DEAN WORKMAN has picked out five things we learned from the encounter.

1) Chiefs shaky defence behind their problems

Giovanni Solinas has spoken on several occasions about his attacking philosophy, and while Chiefs have been good going forward, their defensive showings have been far from good enough.

These frailties were once again at the fore as two sloppy errors again cost them a result.

Both Thembinkhosi Lorch’s opener and Justin Shonga’s winner were a result of some schoolboy defending and until Solinas can iron out the errors at the back, Chiefs will continue to struggle.

2) Manyama’s inclusion was premature

Leboganag Manyama arrived at Naturena under a lot of fanfare, but has got off to a slow start at the club.

The winger first had to find his fitness after not playing for several months before his arrival and then once he finally made his debut, Manyama was hit with another setback when he broke his arm in a car accident.

Although his injuries may have healed, it was clear that Manyama lacked the match fitness and sharpness required in such a high-profile fixture.

3) Pirates are building something special

Over the past year or so, Milutin Sredojevic and his assistant Rulani Mokwena have gone about rebuilding a Pirates team which have suffered tremendously in recent times.

They are without a trophy since 2014, but will now have a chance to end that drought after qualifying for the TKO final. The Buccaneers have the perfect mix of youth and experience and have the strength in depth to compete across all fronts.

4) Mlambo’s form will grab Baxter’s attention

Xol Mlambo picked up the Man of the Match award for another top-class display where he controlled the game from the middle of the park.

The former Bidvest Wits man has been integral in his side’s good form this season, but has still not managed to be included in any of Bafana Bafana’s recent squads.

Stuart Baxter has admitted that Mlambo is in his thoughts, and if the midfielder can continue to produce top quality displays he will leave the former Kaizer Chiefs coach with no choice but to call him up to the national squad.

5) Solinas’ job is under threat

The loss for Chiefs sets a record for the longest winless run by any team in the Soweto derby, 11 games.

Not only will this upset the Amakhosi faithful, but their defeat means that their trophy drought of three years will continue for at least another few months.

Chiefs remain off the pace in the league and have not performed in the cup competitions, and if the Italian tactician wants to remain in a job, he will have to turn things around, and quickly at that.

Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix