Wed 18 Oct 2017, 09:41
Tune in for the live action from the FNB Stadium on Saturday 21 October on SS4 Super Diski at 14:00 (DStv Channel 204 streaming live on DStv Now). Highlights on DStv Catch Up later.
The Soweto Derby – More than just soccer.
Former Orlando Pirates head coach Kjell Jonevret was spot on when he said ‘Every Soweto Derby lives its own life’.
Saturday’s 162nd confrontation between bitter Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at a jam-packed FNB Stadium should be no exception.
Both of the Soweto giants are strong national brands and derby fever stretches way beyond the kaleidoscope of colour and electric atmosphere within the confines of the FNB Stadium on match day.
It is no ordinary football match and carves the sprawling township south west of Johannesburg in half, divides families and friends along club lines and elicits many a lively debate in the country’s taverns and drinking establishments.
In 2017 the Soweto Derby is recognised worldwide as one of the best, on a par with famous derbies like Boca Juniors vs River Plate in Argentina, Spain’s El Classico between Real Madrid and Barcelona or the often volatile Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray in Turkey (Source – Kaizer Chiefs).
The matches are traditionally cagey affairs and the last three PSL league derbies have all ended in draws. In fact one very witty fan recently dubbed it the ‘Soweto Drawby’.
Who the form team is at derby time is usually irrelevant and there is very rarely a ticket to be had well in advance of match day. It’s all about bragging rights and prestige and the stakes are high.
In fact, since the advent of the PSL era in 1996, close to 50% (18) of the 38 derbies played ended in stalemates. But not always a dull draw it has to be added.
Overall since the two arch-enemies first crossed swords in 1970, Amakhosi have won 67 of the 161 derbies, Pirates 38 and 51 have ended in a draw. Five matches were abandoned for various reasons.
The historical rivalry, added pressure and nervous tension often play a big role and neither team wants to buckle.
After two barren seasons, under fire Chiefs head coach Steve Komphela has still never won an official PSL League derby against the Buccaneers since taking charge at Naturena and is no doubt desperate to break that mould.
With a mounting casualty list, it doesn’t get any easier. Six key Chiefs players are out of action – five defenders and a striker – Teenage Hadebe (ankle), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (knee), Tsepo Masilela (ankle surgery), Kgotso Moleko (knee), Gustavo Paez (ankle) and Lorenzo Gordinho (fractured rib).
Bucs’ coach Milutin Sredojevic has quietly gone about business during the international break and expected to persist with his workable 4-4-2 formation.
Potential Game Changers:
Kaizer Chiefs: Itumeleng Khune, George Maluleka, Hendrick Ekstein, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Dumisane Zuma, Bhongolwethu Jayiya, Bernard Parker, Eric Mathoho, Ryan Moon, Daniel Cardoso.
Orlando Pirates: Wayne Sandilands, Thamasanqa Gabuza, Thembinkhosi Lorch, Mpho Makola, Thabo Qalinge, Thabo Rakhale, Riyaad Norodien.
Interesting Facts – Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates (The Soweto Derby):
The first Soweto Derby goal was scored by Percy ‘Chippa’ Moloi on 24 January 1970.
Siphiwe Tshabalala holds the record for the most Soweto Derby appearances (26).
Pule ‘Ace’ Ntsolengoe is the leading Derby goal scorer with 19. Nelson ‘Teenage’ Dladla and ‘Shaka’ Ngcobo each have 11.
Jomo Sono is Pirates’ leading Derby goal scorer with nine strikes.
Biggest Winning Margins – Chiefs 7-3 (1972); 5-1 (1975). Pirates 5-1 (1990).
Last player to score a hattrick in the Derby was Jerry Sikhosana (Pirates) in a 4-1 victory in 1996.
Derby Results (Last five years):
2017 – Chiefs 1 Pirates 1
2016 – Pirates 0 Chiefs 0, Pirates 1 Chiefs 1.
2015 – Chiefs 1 Pirates 3, Chiefs 0 Pirates 0
2014 – Pirates 0 Chiefs 2, Pirates 0 Chiefs 1
2013 – Chiefs 1 Pirates 1, Chiefs 0 Pirates 0
2012 – Pirates 1 Chiefs 1, Pirates 3 Chiefs 2
Roll of Honour (League Titles): Chiefs 12 Pirates 9
PSL (since 1996) Chiefs 4 Pirates 4
NSL (1985-1995) Chiefs 3 Pirates 1
NPSL (1971-1984) Chiefs 5 Pirates 4
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By Trevor Cramer