Cardoso gives Kaizer Chiefs victory in thrilling Soweto derby

Kaizer Chiefs defender Daniel Cardoso (R), whose blunder gifted winners Maritzburg United their first goal

Daniel Cardoso converted an 84th-minute penalty to give leaders Kaizer Chiefs a 3-2 victory over greatest rivals Orlando Pirates on Saturday in a pulsating South African Premiership clash.

An own-goal by Pirates captain Ntsikelelo Nyauza just 43 seconds after the Soweto derby kicked off and a headed goal by Colombian Leonardo Castro propelled Chiefs to a two-goal advantage.

Vincent Pule halved the deficit by scoring direct from a tight-angle free-kick and Malawian Frank 'Gabadinho' Mhango levelled just before the hour before an 80,000 Soweto crowd.

Pirates cursed their luck as they struck the woodwork three times before a foul on substitute Bernard Parker allowed Cardoso to slam the ball past Wayne Sandilands and win the match.

Tempers flared in the closing stages and pushing and shoving led to Chiefs' defender Eric Mathoho being red-carded and three other players booked.

Ironically, Mhango, whose push instigated scuffles that lasted several minutes, escaped unpunished.

Success took success-starved Chiefs 10 points clear of second-place Mamelodi Sundowns, who play Golden Arrows in Durban Sunday.

Chiefs, who are chasing a first league title in five seasons, last won a Premiership match against Pirates in 2014.

This season, pacesetters Chiefs have won nine matches, drawn one and lost one while Pirates are languishing in ninth position with just three victories from 11 outings.

- Desperate for success -

The most popular football clubs in South Africa are both desperate for success as Chiefs have gone four seasons and Pirates five without lifting a trophy.

After Chiefs won a thrilling League Cup quarter-final between the clubs last Saturday, many supporters feared the second derby within eight days would fall short of expectations.

But a bizarre own-goal set the scene for another memorable match between clubs whose rivalry dates back to 1970 when some Pirates stars quit the club and formed Chiefs.

Sandilands strayed too far off his line and an attempted headed back-pass from Nyauza sailed over the goalkeeper and into the net.

When Castro soared to nod a corner into the corner of the net on 28 minutes the situation was grim for a Pirates side lacking the steadying influence of suspended captain Happy Jele.

But Pule lifted spirits with his goal from a near impossible angle and Pirates' second-half dominance led to Mhango scoring.

While there was no disputing the penalty that gave Chiefs victory, a draw would have been the fairest outcome to a match neither side deserved to lose.