Vuvuzelas play false tune

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

The deafening sounds of vuvuzelas from the Ellis Park Stadium on Saturday gave an impression to passersby that Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs were having a ball.

Indeed, the two awesomely supported football giants had a ball, sadly though it was kicked around uninspiringly on the field, like rugby players do while loosening their muscles before games.

The venue was pregnant, with 56000 supporters. The sounds from their horns implied that it was a reciprocal gesture to the quality of football that was dished out by their respective clubs.

Yet it was the direct opposite. The enthusiastically awaited derby was the first encounter between these Soweto blood rivals at the "Park of Pain" since the tragedy that befell local football on the night of April 11 2001, when 43 lives were lost after a stampede.

Expectations were high but it turned out to be a dreary encounter to say the least. Both clubs do not have personalities for a match of this magnitude and the death of cheering players by their nicknames, which has been replaced by vuvuzelas, is haunting such clashes.

Chiefs led in the 42nd minute through Serge Djiehoua but Amakhosi, who were a better side in the first half, faded in the second.

Pirates, the hosts, gradually started capitalising on their territorial advantage. After the introduction of Bennet Chenene, who replaced Jabu Mahlangu in the 56th minute, the Buccaneers dominated the proceedings.

The diminutive yet explosive youngster took on players head-on before swinging a left footer into the box from a corner kick. Lucky Lekgwathi was perfectly positioned to head home a beauty past Rowen Fernandez's rubbery hands in the 64th minute.

Clearly, the vuvuzelas were blown in celebration of a stalemate that moved Pirates to sixth spot on the log while Chiefs claimed eighth position.