Family feuds, social media buzz, friendly banter... expect a thriller of a Soweto Derby
JOHANNESBURG – The Soweto Derby remains the biggest sporting event in the country. It frequently sells out the 90000-seater FNB Stadium.
The weekend event always has social media abuzz, families feuding, torn between the black of Orlando Pirates and the gold of Kaizer Chiefs.
The Saturday derby is especially of great importance, as it is the 50th anniversary of the first official encounter between the two sides on January 24, 1970, in the Rogue Beer Cup. Since then, the Soweto giants have locked horns in the "El Kasico" 168 times, with the Chiefs enjoying supremacy over their bitterest of rivals.
However, more recently the Bucs have found themselves the masters and have lost to the Amakhosi in one league match since December 2014.
Much is on the line this weekend. Both sides are desperate to rekindle their glory days and end half-decade of trophy-less seasons. And with both sides in the championship hunt, victory or defeat could crush any dream of lifting the Absa Premiership title.
There are many intriguing battles that will accompany that goal: Ernst Middendorp must win a championship to prove his status as one of the country's top coaches versus Josef Zinnbauer, a rookie coach in the PSL who has lifted Bucs out of the doldrums; the golden boot ambitions of Samir Nurkovic and Gabadinho Mhango and the defenders who must confine and box-in these two on-form strikers; and of course the battle to prove who is the better goalkeeper, the revered Daniel Akpeyi or Wayne Sandilands.
This weekend, with so much history, promises to be a cracker.