This past weekend’s Soweto derby had everything that you would associate with the country’s biggest game: the sold out crowd at the 90 000 capacity seater (FNB stadium), five goals and special goals.
Exciting football, the fights off the ball between the players, but it’s the drama after the game, especially in the post-match presser by Orlando Pirates head coach Rhulani Mokwena that remains the serious talking point till today.
The 10-man Chiefs won the match 3-2 to go 10 points clear at the top, Mokwena ignored the result and focused on the thuggish behavior which he alleged Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp was encouraging.
This was a second loss for Pirates to their arch-rivals in a space of seven days. They are now 15 points behind Chiefs on the log after suffering their fourth loss of the season in the league to drop down to ninth spot on the log with 13 points from 11 matches. For the second time in one week, Mokwena acknowledged that they need to start producing the desired results.
Mokwena admitted that the German coach had planned better there.
At some stage, the post-match presser became just another football match as the two coaches were taking on each other without fielding questions from the journalists.
It’s Chiefs’ tradition not to separate coaches for post-match press conferences and this past weekend, hopefully they learnt their lesson that there’s a good reason to follow the global trends of separating the coaches.
Middendorp, known for his aggression and and forthright approach at times, was calm on the night, but the moment he was asked to respond to the allegations by Mokwena, he didn’t hold back.
At some stage, it came across as though the German-born was advising his younger counterpart not to blame the opposition for mistakes made by his players or some tactical and technical naivety.
It was an exciting game and Chiefs continued with their rich vein of form, 10 points clear at the top and have now collected 28 points from a possible 33. This ranks as one the best starts in the history of the PSL.
Bucs were equally exciting to come back from 2-0 down to 2-2 before man of the match Daniel Cardoso converted the penalty.
But again, the post-match comments even with the last question on the day about the teams’ plans for the international break was off the mark.
Middendorp stood up and left as he couldn’t take Mokwena’s comments anymore.
— Official PSL (@OfficialPSL) November 9, 2019
– Report by Velile Mnyandu