Chiefs, Pirates set for derby semifinal thriller

Chiefs, Pirates set for derby semifinal thriller
Mario Booysen of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Augustine Mulenga of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on 27 October 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Nov 23, 2018. 12:00

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will meet in an eagerly-anticipated derby for the semifinals of the Telkom Knockout, set for the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, 24 November 2018, kick-off at 15h00.

Chiefs earned their place in the final four by overcoming Black Leopards on penalties (following a 1-1 draw) in the last 16 and defeating SuperSport United 1-0 in the quarterfinals – thanks to an amazing strike from defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele.

The Amakhosi have won a record 13 League Cup titles (three of them in the TKO era), though their last triumph was in the 2010/11 season. Last season they got as far the semifinals before losing 1-0 to eventual champions Bidvest Wits.

Pirates had to work hard for their place in this phase of the TKO, edging Chippa United 1-0 at home in the last 16, before coming from a goal down to defeat AmaZulu 3-1 after extra time in the quarterfinals earlier this month – a Thembinkosi Lorch brace sandwiched a goal from Xola Mlambo in the Buccaneers’ win over Usuthu.

The Buccaneers have won the Telkom Knockout just once (2011) and last season got as far as the quarterfinals before they were eliminated on penalties (after a 2-2 draw) by Polokwane City.

Chiefs and Pirates have been regular cup combatants as part of their historic rivalry. Their last such meeting was in the last 32 of the 2016 Nedbank Cup, with the Buccaneers winning 2-0 thanks to a brace from Tendai Ndoro.

Yet the Amakhosi have won nine matches outright (plus three by penalties) compared to eight victories for their rivals in the teams’ 24 cup meetings since 1985. Across all competitions, the Glamour Boys’ dominance is reflected in 33 wins compared to 23 for Pirates from 90 matches.

However, Chiefs have not claimed an outright win over Bucs in the last 10 meetings of the teams across all competitions, and Pirates are on a two-game winning streak in this rivalry, including a 2-1 triumph at the FNB Stadium (thanks to goals from Innocent Maela and Vincent Pule) from a league match in late October.

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