now for chiefs, bucs fans cry

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

A hawker outside Olympia Park Stadium in Rustenburg on Saturday was convinced that Orlando Pirates played against Kaizer Chiefs on the night.

"Did Pirates beat Chiefs tonight?" she asked jubilant Bucs supporter Thabo Nkoana from Kagiso as he was buying a drink after the match.

The hawker, who admitted to being a Chiefs fan, was flummoxed by the chants of "Chiefs! Chiefs!" by Pirates supporters outside the stadium after their side's 3-2 victory over Moroka Swallows in the original Soweto derby on the night.

The win fired Pirates into the semifinals of the Telkom Knockout and lifted the spirits in Bucs camp ahead of the South African derby against Amakhosi in Mafikeng on Saturday.

"We have just finished off our supper [Moroka Swallows] and Chiefs will be our lunch next weekend. We want to beat them convincingly to prove that we are the Soweto giants in the true sense of the word," Nkoane explained to the hawker.

Rudolf Krol, the Pirates' coach, has never been so happy after a match even though he wore a serious "mask" in the interview.

"It was very crucial for us to win this match to lift the spirit in the camp," Krol said. "I don't want to single out matches because they are all important for us. We are going to take each match as it comes and try to improve in our game."

He praised his charges, including the error-prone goalie Moeneeb Josephs, for their display against the outclassed Birds. Josephs' comical acts late in the game saw him put the tame effort by Elton Morelato into his own net on the stroke of full time.

This after he failed to save Cecil Oerson's stunning long-range free-kick nine minutes earlier as Swallows staged a late recovery.

Pirates, who showed a great improvement on the night, opened the scoring in the third minute through Thulasizwe Mbuyane. Other goals were struck by man of the match Dikgang Mabalane and Gilbert Mushangazhike to send the Ghost into joyous celebrations.

Swallows coach Julio Leal said they lost against the best team on the night.

"I was hoping for an equaliser after our late two goals but that was never to be," Leal said.