Soweto Derby: Now for the next trick
DURBAN – Soweto Derby hat-tricks are a rare treat.
You have to go back 24 years for the last player to net three strikes in the Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs encounter.
Jerry Sikhosana was the last hitman to score a derby hat-trick. Back in 1996, ‘Legs of Thunder’, as Sikhosana was affectionately known to the footballing masses, dominated the BobSave SuperBowl semi-final. He netted three goals as the Sea Robbers’ dismantled Chiefs 4-1.
Helman Mkhalela added the fourth to complete Chiefs’ humiliation, while a lone goal from David Modise was the only consolation for Amakhosi on a day to forget for them.
Since then, strikers have struggled to score three goals in the derby.
But who would bet against the red hot Gabadinho Mhango and Samir Nurkovic to end the two decade-plus hoodoo? The duo have shown that they both have an immense appetite for scoring goals.
They have already both bagged a hat-trick this current season. Nurkovic was colossal for the Glamour Boys at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban last year when Chiefs dispatched Bloemfontein Celtic 5-3.
Can he do it again? There’s no doubt that he is capable.
Nurkovic is the man for the big occasion. He thrives in pressure situations. When his team need him the most, Nurkovic always rises to the occasion, although he is still searching for his maiden derby goal. The Serbian has faced Pirates twice and fired blanks on both of occasions. Can he open his derby account with a hat-trick?
Mhango will have a say, no doubt. He has enjoyed playing against Chiefs this season.
He netted when Bucs succumbed to a 3-2 defeat against Amakhosi in the first round of the league. Mhango also caused havoc for Chiefs as they lost on penalties in the Telkom Knockout at Moses Mabhida after the game finished 2-2 in 90 minutes, and he will be hoping that his form against Chiefs continues. Mhango is three goals ahead of Nurkovic in the hunt for the golden boot. After 19 games, Mhango has registered 14 strikes, while the Serbian is on 11 goals.
Having netted two goals in two matches against Amakhosi, Mhango will be eyeing his second hat-trick of the season.
His first was last month against Polokwane City.@Minenhlecr7