100th Soweto Derby: 5 Great Orlando Pirates PSL wins: The Manyathela, Benni and Memela show!

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Orlando Pirates player Innocent Maela celebrating after scoring during an Absa Premiership clash.
Orlando Pirates player Innocent Maela celebrating after scoring during an Absa Premiership clash.
  • Orlando Pirates have tended to operate in two's and three's when beating their great rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
  • They're on the cusp of a first league double over Amkhosi since the 2008/09 season should they win on Sunday.
  • They've relied on some magical moments from some of their best attackers through the years to beat Chiefs.

Since Jerry Sikhosana beat Brian Baloyi with a shot from an acute angle on 18 January 1997 when the Soweto rivals first met in the inaugural Premier Soccer League-era derby, Orlando Pirates have needed one of their big strikers or their in form attackers to get the better of Kaizer Chiefs.

Ahead of the 100th league Derby, here are five of Orlando Pirates' memorable wins against their rivals: 

15 December 2001: Kaizer Chiefs 0-3 Orlando Pirates

The significance of this derby lay in the fact that it was the first one that took place after the 12 April Ellis Park tragedy. It was an indifferent season for the Buccaneers, who failed to defend their hard-earned 2000/01 title while Chiefs were seeing flames after an excellent early season Cup run.

It was a game where the late Lesley Manyathela stamped his authority on Soweto Derby proceedings with a brace of the highest class, while midfield general Benedict Vilakazi sealed the game with the third goal of the game. That particular result remains the last time Kaizer Chiefs lost a home league Soweto Derby by more than two goals without replying.

29 October 2004: Orlando Pirates 2-1 Kaizer Chiefs

Of the many things Kaizer Chiefs did well under the late Ted Dumitru in the 2004/05 where they famously reeled in Orlando Pirates during the league race, one of them was not beating their rivals in the league.

Pirates under Kostadin Papic adopted the “Happy People” moniker and they played some delirious football. With Tonic Chabalala marking Collins Mbesuma out of the game, one of the few times the red-hot Zambian was kept quiet that season, current assistant coach Arthur Zwane was Chiefs goal-scorer, but Vilakazi was the man again who upset Chiefs, along with the late Gift Leremi. Chiefs, though, would have the last laugh at the end of the season.


Benni McCarthy. (Duif Du Toit / Gallo Images)

17 March 2012: Orlando Pirates 3-2 Kaizer Chiefs

Benni McCarthy has achieved a lot of things as a footballer, but in the twilight of his incredible career, he scarred Kaizer Chiefs with a brace of the highest quality. In a hi-octane derby of all derbies, Pirates raced into a 3-0 lead in 23 minutes.

McCarthy, who’s now AmaZulu head coach, scored the first and the third goal while militant midget Andile Jali, now at Mamelodi Sundowns, scored their second. To their credit, Chiefs, who were in the last season of Vladimir Vermezovic’s tumultuous reign, fought back manfully, but this was a championship winning Orlando Pirates side that went on to record what remains the ninth and last league title.

31 October 2015: Kaizer Chiefs 1 – 3 Orlando Pirates

In what can retrospectively be seen as the start of Orlando Pirates’ mid to late 2010’s dominance over their rivals, goals from Issa Sarr, Ayanda Gcaba and Thamsanqa Gabuza gave them this memorable victory. The 2015/16 season was Steve Komphela’s first as Kaizer Chiefs coach and there was no joy for the former Bafana Bafana captain against his big rivals.

Between the 7 March draw, the last Soweto Derby that featured Stuart Baxter, and the 9 November 2019 3-2 win under Ernst Middendorp, Chiefs failed to beat Orlando Pirates in nine league derbies. For the record, Eric Mathoho, who is still with the club, was Chiefs’ sole goal-scorer in this sad outing for them.


Thembinkosi Lorch (Backpagemedia)

3 March 2018: Orlando Pirates 3-1 Kaizer Chiefs

Under Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic, Orlando Pirates were slowly shedding off their tennis score reputation of the 2016/17 season where SuperSport United (6-1) and Mamelodi Sundowns (6-0) took turns in battering the Buccaneers. Even in those low standards, Chiefs couldn’t beat Pirates and the following season, a much-improved Pirates that finished second, five points behind eventual league winners Mamelodi Sundowns, put Chiefs to the sword.

Luvuyo Memela nailed a brace while Thembinkosi Lorch provided the other goals. Chiefs being Chiefs, they scored through a set-piece, with Leonardo Castro being their target man. 

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