derby fails to live up to expectations

CLOSE CONTEST: Orlando Pirates defender Rooi Mahamutsa, left, clears the ball from Kaizer Chiefs striker Kaizer Motaung Jnr during their Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.Pic: VELI NHLAPO. 01/11/2009. © Sowetan.
CLOSE CONTEST: Orlando Pirates defender Rooi Mahamutsa, left, clears the ball from Kaizer Chiefs striker Kaizer Motaung Jnr during their Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.Pic: VELI NHLAPO. 01/11/2009. © Sowetan.

HAILED by many as a homecoming for two of Soweto's most bitter rivals, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, the derby failed to live up to the hype after the two sides played to a disappointing goalless draw on Saturday.

HAILED by many as a homecoming for two of Soweto's most bitter rivals, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, the derby failed to live up to the hype after the two sides played to a disappointing goalless draw on Saturday.

The clash returned to Orlando Stadium after a 26-year hiatus but the players failed to make it worth the wait for fans.

Chiefs were the hosts and their coach, Vladimir Vermezovic, was pleased with how his charges had performed in the match.

"We had opportunities but maybe the one point was enough. We will try and use every possibility to be up there when the season ends," he said.

The coach added that the intensity of the Soweto derby was similar to the one between Red Star Belgrade and Partizan Belgrade in his native Serbia.

His opposite number at Pirates, Rudi Krol, reckoned it was a spectacle.

"This was a historic moment and people saw a special match. I think it was an interesting match for the supporters. I was a worried man because I had lost a good captain and player in Benson (Mhlongo), but (Mlungisi) Gumbi did well," he said.

Krol said most of his players were feeling the strain of playing international matches.

Chiefs' defender Thabang Rooi was voted man of the match.

"We went for a win, but unfortunately we drew. I'm happy with how we played. We are starting to play as a team," he said.

Chiefs nearly nicked it in the last minute when midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala's thunderous shot came off the woodwork.

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