A strike by Lehlohonolo Majoro saw Kaizer Chiefs edge out Orlando Pirates 1-0 at the FNB Stadium, on Saturday afternoon, to be crowned the Carling Black Label Cup Champions.
It was a game of two halves in which Chiefs dominated the first stanza, while Pirates came back firing in the second but it was to no avail.
The fixture proved to be a great curtain raiser for the start of the new season as the two Soweto giants came out with the same hunger they would in a normal derby clash.
This year’s edition managed to tally a record number of votes by the fans, with a tally of 22.2 million, and there were no real significant surprises in either line-up.
Pirates came into the game having won the last two Carling Cup trophies, and there was a good signal of intent that they were going to make it a hat-trick of victories as the game got underway with a great amount of fluidity about it.
However, it was Chiefs who could have had the first goal when George Lebese received a looping pass inside the box in the 9th minute. The youngster hesitated to take the first shot and it was to his detriment as the ball was whipped from under his feet by Happy Jele.
In the 23rd minute Itumeleng Khune made an uncharacteristic misplaced kick from his box which fell to Sifiso Myeni. The midfielder tried to capitalise on it but his effort went off target.
On the stroke of the half hour there was a collision between Khune and Collins Mbesuma, when they both chased down a free-kick into the box. The Chiefs man got onto the better end of the challenge by punching it away.
Senzo Meyiwa denied Chiefs of going 1-0 up when he punched away Tefu Mashamaite’s powerful header off the line, six minutes later.
Nonetheless, the Glamour boys didn’t have to wait long for their goal to arrive. Lehlohonolo Majoro did well to latch on and hit home a rebounded ball which struck the crossbar from Bernard Parker’s initial attack.
The fans were allowed to cast their votes for a substitution in either team and it saw Knowledge Musona voted on for the PSL Champions, while Daine Klate came on for the Buccaneers.
Roger de Sa then opted to hand two more players debuts in the Bucs colours with Lennox Bacela and Kermit Erasmus having been brought on.
Musona should have made it 2-0 in the 70th minute. All the striker needed to do was hit the cross low into the back of the net, but, instead, he fired it straight over the bar.
Willard Katsande was lucky not to walk away with his second yellow card of the afternoon following a heavy lunge on Erasmus, with just 15 minutes to go.
Pirates tried with all their might to claw their way back for a late equalizer, but nothing came of their efforts as Kaizer Chiefs claimed the title of the Carling Black Label Cup.
Kaizer Chiefs: (1) 1 (Majoro 39’)
Orlando Pirates: (0) 0
Kaizer Chiefs: Khune, Gaxa, Mathoho, Mashamaite, Masilela, Dladla (Katsande 55’), Letsholonyane (Gould 86’), Lebese, Tshabalala, Majoro (Musona 52’), Parker
Orlando Pirates: Meyiwa, Jele, Lekgwathi, Mahamutsa, Matlaba (Phungwayo 83’), Myeni (Klate 52’), Jali (Ntshumayelo 85’), Manyisa, Segolela (Twala 66’), Mbesuma (Bacela 58’), Mabena (Erasmus 58’)-www.psl.co.za