DERBY OFFERS KEY INSIGHTS
Orlando Pirates go into today’s Carling Black Label Champion Cup against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium leading the head-to-head 42 in past competitions‚ but are yet to defeat their great Soweto rivals out-right.
All four of Pirates’ previous successes in the pre-season showpiece event have come via penalty shoot-outs‚ while somewhat remarkably they have only managed two goals in the six games.
Buccaneers fans are desperately in need of a lift after a disastrous 2016/17 Premier Soccer League season and are hoping for a good performance against their rivals which will give them hope ahead of the new campaign.
The once-off match‚ that sees the supporters of the two sides select the starting lineup via public voting‚ was first played in 2011 with the inaugural game ending in a
0-0 draw. Keegan Ritchie and Itumeleng Khune missed in the shoot-out for Chiefs and Pirates won the day 4-3 on penalties.
Chiefs were seconds away from claiming their first trophy win in 2012 after Abia Nale had given them an early lead‚ but Benni McCarthy pounced in the sixth minute of injury-time to take the match to penalties once more.
Pirates triumphed again in the shoot-out 5-4‚ with five players missing on both sides‚ among them the unlucky Ritchie for the second year in a row‚ as well as McCarthy.
Chiefs did pick up their first victory in 2013 though as Lehlohonolo Majoro scored the only goal in a 1-0 win‚ but the sides were deadlocked again the following year at 0-0.
Again Pirates held their nerve in a marathon shootout that needed 18 penalties to separate the sides‚ before The Buccaneers finally triumphed 6-5.
Sifiso Myeni put Pirates ahead in the 2015 match-up‚ but they were pegged back by a Reneilwe Letsholonyane equaliser and to penalties the teams went once more.
By now the hoodoo was firmly entrenched with Chiefs and it was no surprise to anybody when Pirates won 4-3.
Second half goals from Eric Mathoho and Lewis Macha gave Chiefs the trophy win last year though as they defeated Pirates 2-0‚ a bad start to what would be an awful campaign for The Buccaneers.
Orlando Pirates coach Kjell Jonevret and his Kaizer Chiefs counterpart Steve Komphela are looking forward to tomorrow’s Soweto derby although they will have little say in the encounter.
Jonevret and Komphela will be watching from the sidelines during the Carling Black Label Cup clash at FNB Stadium tomorrow (3.30pm), while guest coaches Chief Nkoko (Pirates) and Manthulane Aphane (Chiefs) will shout orders from the dugouts.
This will be Jonevret’s first experience of the annual exhibition clash after taking over the reins in February. He admitted that he was shocked when he heard that the fans pick the line-ups.
“When I heard about this for the first time, I was like ‘what’s that?’ But then I thought about it and it
should be a fun thing. It’s a party and now I’m really looking forward to it,” Jonevret said this week.
The 55-year-old will be able to gather information, especially about the preparedness of his team ahead of the new campaign starting next month.
After Pirates’s disastrous season last term, Jonevret has hinted that he’s desperately looking for a winning combination so Bucs don’t disappoint again.
“Last season was not good, so this should give some hope to the supporters; that we mean business and we are going to be better,” he said.
Pirates will be without midfielders Thabo Rakhale and Thabo Qalinge, who made it to the starting 11 but are injured, according to Pirates’s guest coach Nkoko.
HOPEFULS: Kaizer Chiefs defender Eric Mathoho (R) and Pirates forward Thamisanqa Gabuza.