Excitement builds ahead of derby No: 104
All the talk for the week has been about the 104th instalment of the Soweto Derby meeting in league games between Kaizer Chiefs and their township rivals Orlando Pirates. The teams will take to the field in front of a capacity crowd at the FNB Stadium as Chiefs look to continue their historical dominance over Pirates this Saturday, with kickoff at 15h30.
How it started
The first game between the teams was a third place play-off match on the 20th January 1970 in the Rogue Cup. The match came a mere 13 days after the formation of Kaizer Chiefs on the 7th January 1970, with Pirates winning 6-4. The teams both hail from the Orlando area of Soweto, with Chiefs from Orlando West’s Phefeni area and Pirates hailing from Orlando East. The first league game saw Chiefs win a seven-goal thriller 4-3 on the 24th April 1971, Amakhosi completed a league double over Pirates that campaign winning the second match, 2-1, on the 7th November 1971.
Since their first clash in 1970, and their first league clashes in 1971, there have been a total of 103 league games between the two rivals. Chiefs currently hold sway, having won 44 matches to Orlando Pirates’ 23. There have also been 36 drawn games between them. Overall, they will come face to face for the 177th time in all competitions, with 171 of the previous 176 clashes played to a completion. Once more Chiefs hold sway in these games, with 73 wins to 44 for Pirates. The remaining 54 games have ended in a draw. Although Chiefs did not win any of their first five league clashes against Pirates in the PSL era, having to wait until their second league game in the 1998-99 season to record their first PSL victory, in the 53 league meetings since 1996-97, Chiefs have won 17 games to Pirates’ 12, with nearly half the games (24) ending in a draw.
While the fixture has produced many drawn games, the recent past has gone against the form book, with the last seven league games between the teams producing a winner. Chiefs have won six of these games to Pirates’ one. This is the first time in the PSL era that seven successive league games between the teams have produced a winner. Not since the period between 1989 to 1992 have seven games between the teams ended without a single draw. While Chiefs endured a lean spell against Pirates between 2015 and 2019, failing to win nine successive league games against their traditional foes - The longest spell in the clubs history without a league win in the Derby - the tide turned in November 2019 when Chiefs defeated Pirates 3-2 and followed that up with a 1-0 away win in February 2020, to complete a league double over Pirates for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
Since the 2019-20 season, Chiefs have won six of their last seven league games against Pirates. Amakhosi have also won the last four league games between them. Victory will see Chiefs win five successive league games over Pirates for the first time in the history of this fixture. Amakhosi are also undefeated in their last six home league games against Pirates (W3 D3).
Last time out
A wonderfully executed drive from the halfway line by Yusuf Maart saw Chiefs win the earlier league meeting between the teams, 1-0, back in October, in front of a capacity crowd at the FNB Stadium. Maart’s quick thinking, as he spotted Pirates goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane off his line, came in the 74th minute to give Chiefs a fourth successive league win over Pirates,.
What’s at stake
Bragging rights and township supremacy are on the line in this Derby, which divides not just Soweto, but the whole country down the middle. There is also the opportunity for many of the players and technical staff to write their own personal history in this fixture. Chiefs can complete a fifth successive PSL era league win over Pirates with victory, while Amakhosi coach Arthur Zwane could also become the first South African-born coach to complete a league double for Chiefs over Pirates in the PSL era. The only other two coaches who have managed such a feat are Ernst Middendorp and Stuart Baxter. Chiefs could go level with Pirates on 31 points with a win, as the battle hots up for qualification for next seasons CAF Champions League.