Celtic, Pirates battle for first silverware in 2020-21

Celtic, Pirates battle for first silverware in 2020-21
Ryan de Jongh of Bloemfontein Celtic and Vincent Pule of Orlando Pirates

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Dec 11, 2020. 09:00

Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates will battle for the first piece of silverware on offer in South Africa’s 2020-21 season, as they meet in the MTN8 final. The clash is scheduled for 18:00 CAT on Saturday, 12 December, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Celtic have reached their first MTN8 final since winning the competition back in 2005 (when it was still titled the SAA Supa8), thanks to victories over Tshwane sides Mamelodi Sundowns (1-0 away in the quarterfinals) and SuperSport United (2-1 on aggregate in the semifinals).

Phunya Sele Sele come into the match on the back of a 0-2 loss at home to DR Congo’s Maniema Union in the CAF Confederation Cup last weekend – though the Bloemfontein team ultimately progressed via penalties after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate. Their last domestic clash was a 1-0 league win over Black Leopards in late November.

Pirates are back in the MTN8 final for the first time since 2014 (when they were beaten 1-0 by arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs). The Buccaneers had no problem overcoming the Amakhosi in the semifinals this season, racking up a 5-0 aggregate win, while the quarterfinals saw them narrowly edge Cape Town City 1-0.

The Buccaneers were most recently in action away to Cape Town City last Saturday, playing out a 2-2 league draw in which Vincent Pule scored a brace of goals to help them twice come from behind and claim a point – retaining their unbeaten status thus far in 2020-21.

In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Pirates have met in 13 previous cup matches. The Buccaneers have claimed seven outright wins (plus one by penalty shootout) compared to two (plus two by penalty shootout) for Phunya Sele Sele.

The teams’ most recent knockout tie was in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Nedbank Cup, a match Pirates won after extra time thanks to goals from Abbubaker Mobara and Thamsanqa Gabuza.

Overall, the clubs have clashed in 78 matches across all competitions since 1985. Pirates have taken 40 wins compared to 17 for Celtic, while 21 games have been drawn. They have met once already this season, with a league game at Dr Molemela Stadium in early November ending 1-0 in favour of Bucs thanks to a late strike from Siphesihle Ndlovu.



Season Cup Result Scorers

1988 JPS 1st round Celtic 3-0 Pirates Skhosana, Modise, Nakhumwa

1993 Bob Save 1st round Celtic 1-2 Pirates Maboe; Mncwango, Shimbala

1998/99 Rothmans 1st rd 1st leg Celtic 1-4 Pirates Kukame; Zuma 3, Silent

1998/99 Rothmans 1st rd 2nd leg Pirates 1-1 Celtic Zwane; Vries

2005/06 SAA Supa8 semifinal Pirates 1-1*Celtic Okonkwo; Batabaire

2005/06 Coca-Cola Cup 1st round Pirates 0-0**Celtic

2006/07 Absa Cup 2nd round Celtic 2-2***Pirates Mahlatsi, Chalwe; Vilakazi 2

2008/09 Telkom KO semifinal Celtic 0-3 Pirates Thwala, Mhlongo, Chenene

2008/09 Nedbank Cup 2nd round Celtic 2-1 Pirates Malokase, Smith; Mthembu

2009/10 Telkom KO 1st round Pirates 1-0 Celtic Mabena

2009/10 Nedbank Cup 1st round Pirates 2-1 Celtic Mongalo, Makonese; Mayambela (pen)

2012/13 MTN8 quarterfinal Pirates 1-0 Celtic Jali (pen)

2016/17 Nedbank Cup qfinal Pirates 2-1 Celtic Mobara, Gabuza; Mahlasela

*Celtic won 5-3 on penalties

** Pirates won 4-3 on penalties

***Celtic won 3-2 on penalties


Season Result Scorers

2015/16 Pirates 1-0 Celtic Makola

2016/17 Pirates 1-2 Celtic Manyisa; Dube, Rikhotso

2016/17 Celtic 0-0 Pirates

2017/18 Celtic 0-1 Pirates Nyatama

2017/18 Pirates 2-1 Celtic Nyatama, Mulenga; Gordinho

2018/19 Celtic 1-0 Pirates Sam

2018/19 Pirates 1-1 Celtic Memela; Rikhotso

2019/20 Pirates 3-1 Celtic Mulenga, Maela, Mhango; Mahashe

2019/20 Celtic 1-1 Pirates Luthuli; Mhango

2020/21 Celtic 0-1 Pirates Ndlovu

CUP RECORD (since 1985)


Celtic 13 2 4 7 13 20

Pirates 13 7 4 2 20 13

OVERALL RECORD (all competitions, since 1985)


Celtic 78 17 21 40 78 103

Pirates 78 40 21 17 103 78

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