Five key facts ahead of the Soweto Derby

Orlando Pirates' Ben Motshwari goes past Kaizer Chiefs' Dumisani Zuma in the Soweto Derby at FNB Stadium. Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

There will be another Soweto derby this weekend when Kaizer Chiefs host Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Knockout semifinals at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, a fixture that was sold out within two hours of tickets going on sale.

Saturday's clash gives both under-achieving rivals a chance to take one step closer to elusive silverware, and is also an opportunity to gain bragging rights going into what is a hectic December period in South African domestic football.

Here are five things to ponder ahead of what is always the biggest fixture in South African football.


Pirates have not lost to Chiefs in their last 10 meetings, the longest run of winless games for the AmaKhosi in the near 50-year history of the Soweto Derby.

And if Chiefs do not claim victory on Saturday, it will be the longest winless streak for either side in Derby history, with Pirates have also twice previously gone 10 games without a victory.

It would be another unwanted record for this current Chiefs group, who already hold the indignity of having gone the longest period without a trophy in the club's history.

The last Chiefs victory came in a 2-0 league success in December 2014 when Siphiwe Tshabalala and Siphelele Mthembu netted for the Glamour Boys.

Pirates went 10 games without a win twice in the 1980s during a run in which they were successful in only three out of 32 derby games as the club slipped into turmoil and came close to relegation.

The smart money suggests Chiefs will not be able to avoid stretching their streak to 11 games.


Since the start of the Premier Soccer League in the 1996/97 season, Chiefs have been to the semifinal stage of the Telkom Knockout on 12 occasions and won 10 of those -- an excellent conversion rate.

That record has slipped a little of late after a 2013 loss to Platinum Stars (0-1) and defeat by the same scoreline last year against BidVest Wits. Both of their conquerors went on to lift the trophy.

Pirates, by contrast, have been to 13 semifinals in that period and won only five, including three defeats at this stage in the last four seasons.

They have had little trouble reaching the Last 4, but then seem to freeze with the final tantalisingly close.


The two teams have clashed in six previous editions of the Telkom Knockout competition in its various guises down the years, and every single time the tie has gone in the favour of Chiefs!

For two of those wins, including most recently in 2015, Chiefs have needed penalties to advance past their rivals, while in 1998 they claimed a 3-2 aggregate success in the semifinals that did include a 1-0 loss in the second leg.

Jan Lechaba scored the only goal of the game the first time these sides met in the competition in 1983, when it was known as the Datsun Challenge.

It would be another nine years before they met again, by which time it was in the Coca-Cola Cup, with Fani Madida grabbing a brace as Chiefs won 3-2.

Six years later, the Soweto pair met in the two-legged semifinals. Chiefs won the first 3-1 as Pollen Ndlanya netted twice and Marc Bachelor got the other goal, before Sibusiso Zuma netted in a 1-0 success for The Buccaneers in the return fixture that at least gave them some joy as they bowed out of the competition.

It would be another decade before the sides were paired again together as Chiefs claimed a 3-0 success on penalties after the semifinal had been drawn 0-0.

They met again in the final the following year and this time it was a rampant performance from Chiefs as Sthembiso Ngcobo netted twice and Siphiwe Tshabalala got the other in what remains one of the AmaKhosi's biggest Derby wins.

The last meeting, in the semifinals of the 2015 tournament, also ended goalless at full-time and after extra-time before Chiefs triumphed 6-5 in the subsequent penalty shootout.


This semifinal clash pits two teams together with perhaps the best and the worst records in the Telkom Knockout, certainly when it comes to finals and lifting the trophy.

Chiefs have claimed 13 tournament wins from 17 final appearances and are comfortably the most successful club in the history of the competition. To put it into perspective, Mamelodi Sundowns and BidVest Wits are the next most successful sides with three wins each.

Pirates have reached the final an impressive eight times (second only to Chiefs), but have only lifted the trophy on one occasion, when they defeated Wits 3-1 in the 2011 decider.

That, coupled with their poor semifinal record, shows just how much they struggle at the business end of this competition.


Both these clubs hold records in the Telkom Knockout with Chiefs having featured in the most number of games in the PSL era, 73, one more than Pirates.

Chiefs have the most wins in that time, 41, which is three more than Pirates, but The Buccaneers have scored the most goals with 116 to Chiefs' 109.

In all, Chiefs have 41 wins, 18 draws and 14 defeats from their 73 games, while Pirates have 38 wins, 17 draws and 17 defeats from their 72 matches.