Soweto derby smells like an­other draw

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

CAPE TOWN — De­spite be­ing South Africa’s most watched match each sea­son, the Soweto derby has failed to live up to ex­pec­ta­tion in re­cent years.

To­day will be the first of­fi­cial Soweto derby of the sea­son, with a pre­dicted 90 000-strong crowd fill­ing FNB Sta­dium in Jo­han­nes­burg.

The fierce ri­valry dates back to the 1970s af­ter Amakhosi was founded by Kaizer Mo­taung, who re­turned from play­ing in North Amer­ica to start his own soccer club.

The Glam­our Boys squeezed their way into Soweto, where Pi­rates and Moroka Swal­lows al­ready dom­i­nated most of the fan base.

The Pi­rates-Swal­lows fix­ture is still to this day known as the ‘orig­i­nal’ Soweto derby, but over the years Mo­taung’s side have made enough noise to grab the at­ten­tion of the Buc­ca­neers.

Pi­rates and Chiefs have given birth to many of South Africa’s great­est foot­ballers over the years, namely, Jabu Mahlangu, Doc­tor Khu­malo, Jomo Sono, Don­ald “Ace” Themba Khuse, Brian Baloyi and Mark Fish to name but a few.

For this week­end’s fix­ture fans will be hop­ing the cur­rent crop can write their names in the his­tory books.

Amakhosi hold a tight grip at the sum­mit of the Absa Pre­mier­ship fol­low­ing a healthy run of games, while the Buc­ca­neers are still try­ing to find their feet un­der the new men­tor­ship of Muhsin Er­tu­gral.

The league fix­ture will be the 62nd of its kind with Chiefs boast­ing a 24-13 win-loss league record against Pi­rates.

Twenty-four of the 61 matches fin­ished in draws and Satur­day’s en­counter could well be the 25th.

Chiefs have al­ready tasted vic­tory against Pi­rates af­ter a 2-0 Car­ling Black La­bel Cup vic­tory - a match that serves as a cur­tain raiser for the sea­son.

In the past five sea­sons, there have only been 18 goals scored be­tween the two sides in home and away league fix­tures.

The 2011/12 cam­paign saw Chiefs de­liver a cut­throat per­for­mance as they handed Pi­rates a 2-0 de­feat — the Sea Rob­bers then clinched the sec­ond match 3-2.

Af­ter that rich vein of goals in the Soweto derby, the fix­ture went stale for the next four sea­sons with draws and many of it be­ing goal­less.

The most watched foot­ball match in South Africa be­came anti-cli­matic.

Er­tu­gral and Kom­phela will both want to leave the match un­scathed which could set fans up for yet an­other 90 min­utes of dread­ful de­fen­sive foot­ball. In this case, I hope they prove me wrong. May the Soweto derby rain with goals as this fix­ture needs to be rein­vig­o­rated. — News24.

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