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Kermit Erasmus revelling in Orlando Pirates MTN8 glory

Kermit Erasmus of Orlando Pirates during 2023 MTN8 final match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban

Orlando Pirates striker Kermit Erasmus, ecstatic following Saturday’s victory in the MTN8 final, revelled in his side’s incredible triumph against Mamelodi Sundowns. Picture: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Published Oct 9, 2023


The love affair between Orlando Pirates and the MTN8 is one of the most remarkable stories in South African football, with the club further cementing their legacy in the prestigious tournament.

Buccaneers striker Kermit Erasmus, ecstatic following Saturday’s victory in the final, opened up about the zeal and desire that occupied the Pirates change-room ahead of the match. This obsession saw them vanquish the mighty Mamelodi Sundowns.

Saturday’s victory saw Pirates claim back-to-back MTN8 titles after they beat the hugely favoured Sundowns on 3-1 penalties after the match ended 0-0 after extra time.

Prior to the crunch encounter, much had been made about Sundowns’ dominance over Pirates, having beaten the Soweto club in their previous three matches.

Beating expectations

The Chloorkop-based club had won all three games without conceding a goal against Pirates, a trend many expected to continue in the final.

When a elated Erasmus was quizzed about what he thought was the difference in the match, the 33-year-old expressed that he felt his group played like a team with far greater inspiration on the day.

“I think the hunger to want it more,” Erasmus told Independent Media.

“If you watched how we started the game, maybe the stats and the ball possession will favour them (Sundowns) and they may have created better chances than us, but the way we pressed today, we stuck to the plan

“We gave everything, especially without the ball and we harassed when we needed to. The selflessness of the entire team, we worked hard for one another and covered each other and it worked to our advantage today.”

Saturday’s win means Pirates are the second most successful SA club in the top eight-tournament, with only Kaizer Chiefs having won more (15).

Erasmus hat-trick

Although it was the second title in two years for Pirates, it was an even more special for Erasmus, who laid his hands on a third consecutive MTN8 winner’s medal having won his first one with Sundowns in 2021.

The veteran forward expressed his joy at claiming yet another trophy, but also expressed his happiness to help some of his teammates win their piece of silverware.

“Obviously, with three finals, finals you’re not expected to win, giving your best guaranteed and that’s what I try to do leading up to games, finals or any official game,” he said.

“I’m happy I can be on the winning team again and just giving other players who haven’t won anything to know what it feels like and hopefully it motivates them to keep working hard to try and win more things like we’ve done tonight.”


IOL Sport