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Orlando Pirates’ 1995 lucky charm jersey does the job

JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates beat Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 at FNB Stadium.

It seems the lucky charm of the Orlando Pirates’ 1995 Caf Champions League winning jersey which has been reincarnated and is the new strip of the current team, is already working its magic.

That magic started with the Buccaneers’ 2–0 victory over archrivals Kaizer Chiefs at a packed-to-the-rafters FNB Stadium in the off-season Carling Black Label Champion Cup also known as the ‘Beer Cup’. Bucs have won the cup three times in a row in their five victories compared to Amakhosi who have won it three times including twice in a row.

With the reincarnation of the jersey, the Ghosts hope to reawaken the winning spirit and mentality of the team. “That jersey is our lucky charm, just wait and see what will happen to Chiefs today. They won’t know what hit them,” boasted ‘a once a Buccaneer always a Buccaneer’ fan before the match, and his prayers were answered.

Amakhosi initially made their intentions of retaining the cup known as early as in the third minute when they forced two corner kicks but failed to make it count. Pirates’ Zambian striker Augustine Mulenga went on to open the scoring in the 17th minute when he netted during a goalmouth scramble.

Chiefs’ Dumisani Zuma, who has since been nicknamed ‘uBaba’ after former President Jacob Zuma, tried hard to find an equaliser for Chiefs in the 22nd minute but unfortunately ballooned his effort over the crossbar with former Mamelodi Sundowns keeper Wayne Sandilands at sixes and sevens.

Then Pirates’ evergreen Thembinkosi Lorch, who also showed his goal scoring prowess with Bafana Bafana in the recent Egypt Afcon Cup, unleashed a powerful shot that bamboozled Chiefs keeper Bruce Bavuma to put Bucs 2–0 up.

Little did Amakhosi know that victory had already been sealed with the Lorch goal but the Footballer of the Year for the 2018/19 season kept on piling the pressure on and could have easily put his side 3–0 up in 33rd minute had he not over-dribbled in the box and lost the ball.

Chiefs’ Khama Billiat was marked out of the game and the fans voted him off and he was substituted. Leonardo Castro was equally not in the game as he failed to make an impact. The player who made some telling runs was Bernard Parker but he was unlucky not to score.

If the outcome of this game is anything to go by, then Chiefs could be in for another horrendous season and an empty trophy cabinet. Amakhosi have bolstered their squad with a number of new signings who never featured in this game as they were rejected by the voting fans, mainly due to the fact that they are an unknown quantity.

But whatever happens this season for both Amakhosi and the Buccaneers, only time will tell as the season starts this coming weekend. Amakhosi will be up against high-riding Highlands Park at Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa while Bucs open their season at Orlando Stadium against Bloemfontein Celtic.

Their archrivals, Mamelodi Sundowns will open their defence of the championship against their Tshwane crosstown rivals SuperSport United.

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