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Pirates gamesmanship switched momentum of derby - Khune

Saturday's Soweto Derby was turned on a piece of gamesmanship by Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane, according to his opposite number Itumeleng Khune.

The Buccaneers beat Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 to win the much-anticipated clash between the arch rivals in front of some 70,000 at Soccer City.

Mpontshane feigned injury, requiring treatment, which stopped the game briefly in the first half.

This did enough to break Chiefs' momentum after they had opened the scoring through Khama Billiat, and Khune had saved a penalty from Justin Shonga.

"It was very disappointing on our side as players. We took the lead and then Pirates got the penalty. I did what I had to do. I saved the penalty and told the guys to switch on," the Chiefs captaintold reporters after the derby game. 

"Immediately after I saved the penalty, Mpontshane decided to go down and break the rhythm. We always talk about such things; whenever a team is putting you under pressure, breaking their rhythm.

"He did exactly that and unfortunately we switched off and Pirates got the set play and capitalised on it," he said of the 29th minute equaliser from Innocent Maela, who headed home a corner.

Three minutes after Pirates went 2-1 ahead through Vincent Pule, after a swift interchange of passes involving Zambian internationals Shonga and Augustine Mulenga.

"We were caught napping and we were punished immediately after another poor clearance from our central defender (Siyabonga Ngezana), who have the ball way away to the opposition," Khune continued.

"I had to rush off the line to close the angle and I thought Mulenga didn't see me coming. But he saw me as soon as I charged towards him and he just laid the ball to Pule ... I think ... it happened so quickly. I didn't remember who scored their second goal.

"We are disappointed. We disappointed our Khosi faithful, who came in numbers. We needed to give them something to take back home. The bragging rights are very important in every derby we play but we didn't give them back. It's sad to lose the derby but we just have to take it. It's a lesson learnt, but in a hard way.

"Now we need to focus on our next game," Khune added, as they turned their focus to League Cup action against SuperSport United on Saturday.      

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