Chiefs, Pirates warm up for Soweto derby with wins

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates warmed up for the biggest fixture of the domestic season with midweek victories in the South African Premiership.

Mid-table Chiefs snapped a three-loss run in all competitions by defeating bottom club Cape Town Spurs 3-2 in Johannesburg on Wednesday with Congolese Christian Saile scoring the decisive goal.

Venezuelan Edson Castillo and Ranga Chivaviro also netted for Chiefs while Luvuyo Phewa and 17-year-old Luke Baartman scored for Spurs, who suffered a ninth defeat in 10 matches.

A day earlier, Pirates put fellow bottom-half club Sekhukhune United under constant pressure in Soweto before Thabiso Monyane netted on 79 minutes to earn the home team a 1-0 win.

Chiefs climbed to seventh and Pirates to 10th with the first third of the 30-round season completed.

A capacity 90,000 crowd is expected to watch the two most popular clubs in South Africa in the Soweto derby at the Soccer City stadium on Saturday.

But there were no spectators in the same venue when Chiefs overcame Spurs, with the home side forced to play behind closed doors after hurling bottles at then coach Molefi Ntseki recently.

Ntseki was sacked soon after following a poor start to the season by Chiefs, winners of a record 53 domestic trophies, but none since 2015.

Caretaker replacement Cavin Johnson, promoted from head of youth development at Chiefs, was unhappy despite securing three points.

“We kept allowing Spurs back into the game. There is a lot to learn and improve on before facing Pirates,” he said.

Spurs technical director Sean Connor said: “We started poorly and showed Chiefs too much respect. Our second-half performance was much better.”

Pirates’ win was a huge relief for Spanish coach Jose Riveiro after securing just two points from their previous four league matches.

SuperSport United were poised to overtake leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who had a bye, when they took a 78th-minute lead at Polokwane City through Nigerian Etiosa Ighodaro.

But Polokwane defender Tholo Matuludi scored three minutes from time to force a 1-1 draw and leave SuperSport one point behind Sundowns, who have three matches in hand.

© Agence France-Presse

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