Five takeaways from Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs’ epic Soweto derby

Orlando Pirates players celebrate with forward Monnapule Saleng in their match against Kaizer Chiefs.

Orlando Pirates players celebrate with forward Monnapule Saleng during the Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium. Picture: Phill Magakoe / AFP

Published Mar 11, 2024


The Soweto derby lived up to its lofty billing over the weekend as Orlando Pirates beat their arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs 3-2 at the Calabash.

The match, which was played at a high tempo, produced a five-goal thriller, while the venue was filled to the rafters – with some eye-catching personnel in attendance.

Here, IOL Sport’s Mihlali Baleka looks at five talking points from the derby.

Saleng shows his BTM

Monnapule Saleng was the hero for Orlando Pirates. His brace and Thabiso Lebitso’s derby debut goal cancelled out Ashley du Preez’s double for Kaizer Chiefs.

Saleng has been one of the forgotten men for the Buccaneers as he missed the last two games but he showed why he’s one of the players the team can count on when it comes to big matches.

Riveiro follows in Krol’s footsteps

In the PSL era, Jose Riveiro became the second Pirates coach to complete a league double over Chiefs since Ruud Krol, who achieved that feat in the 2008/09 season.

The 48-year-old will relish that feat, having started his tenure on a sour note, losing to then Chiefs counterpart Arthur Zwane.

Sponsors add flair to Pirates win

Pirates’ and Chiefs’ sponsors Vodacom ensured that they threw their weight behind the home side, the Bucs, giving their supporters branded mini flags.

The Ghost brought life to the Calabash with the flags, waving their team on with every goal and duel won as the team dominated on the pitch.

The derby still a crowd puller

The Soweto derby remains the biggest sporting party in the country, attracting the who’s who to the 90 000-capacity venue, the FNB Stadium.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was one of the dignitaries that graced the event after he took some time off from his busy schedule ahead of the elections to watch the game.

The Motaung’s derby end in tears

Holding a baby behind Chiefs’ bench, the club’s marketing director Jessica Motaung wept in pain after their fans resorted to violence after the game.

It was a bitter end to the game for the Motaung family, who hoped for a derby delight after hosting dignitaries in the presidential suit, including Ramaphosa.