Late drama becoming the norm in Soweto Derby

football08 March 2024 07:03| © Mzansi Football

Orlando Pirates prepare to host Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby on Saturday as both teams ramp up their bid for CAF Champions League football next season, and if recent history is anything to go by, it will be a second half show. Catch the action live on SuperSport. The buildup starts at 14:30 CAT.

The last 10 derby clashes have produced 21 goals, 12 for Pirates and nine on the side of Chiefs. Of those, only five, or 24 per cent, have come in the first half of games.

Pirates have found the back of the net four times in the opening period – Zakhele Lepasa in a 3-0 MTN8 semifinal, first leg win in 2020, Thembinkosi Lorch in a 2-1 league success in 2021, Kermit Erasmus in a 2-1 Nedbank Cup semifinal victory in May last year, and Evidence Makgopa in the reverse league fixture earlier this season that was won 1-0 by The Buccaneers.

It means every time that Pirates have scored in the first half in the previous 10 derby matches, they have gone on to claim victory. That is an ominous sign for the AmaKhosi.

The only time Chiefs have netted in the opening period was through a Reeve Frosler stunner in March 2022, when they went on to win 2-1, so the same can be said for Chiefs. First half goals equal a win.

The vast majority of goals have come in the second period though, and to be more precise, the final 15 minutes of games.

Nine of the 21 goals scored in the last 10 derbies, which equates to 43 per cent – or almost half – have come in the closing stages of matches. There was also an extra-time strike for Sandile Mthethwa in that Nedbank Cup win for Pirates that is not included in that tally.

It has become the derby of late goals, and mostly on the side of Chiefs. Five of their nine (56 per cent) have come in the final 15 minutes, including a penalty winner for Keagan Dolly in a league game in 2021 and an own goal by Pirates defender Olisa Ndah in the 89th minute in February last year. In fact, four of Chiefs’ last six derby goals have come after the 79-minute mark.

In all, eight of their previous nine (89 per cent) have come in the second half of derby games.

That includes Yusuf Maart’s 60-yard stunner in 2022 that was scored after 74 minutes and provided three points for Chiefs in the most dramatic fashion.

Pirates love a late goal too, they have scored four of their last 10 past the 80-minute mark, including two from Linda Mntambo, one by Thembinkosi Lorch and a rare goal for Siphesihle Ndlovu.

The good news for fans is that there has not been a goalless draw in a competitive Soweto Derby clash since 2017, a run of 17 games where at least one side found the back of the net.

There have been 43 goals scored in that time, an average of 2.53 per match, well above the league average over the last few decades.

In fact, the last time the league as a whole averaged above that number of goals per match was back in the 1999/2000 campaign.

So after a few years where the derby battled for goals and 0-0 became the norm, it is back with a bang and providing arguably the richest entertainment of all fixtures in the Premier Soccer League, with fantastic strikes and plenty of late drama.





0-15 minutes: 1 (5 per cent)

16-30 minutes: 3 (14 per cent)

31-45 minutes: 1 (5 per cent)

46-60 minutes: 4 (19 per cent)

61-75 minutes: 2 (9 per cent)

76-90 minutes: 9 (43 per cent)

Extra-time: 1 (5 per cent)


Zakhele Lepasa 26'

Vincent Pule 67'

Thembinkosi Lorch 81'

Fortune Makaringe 59'

Linda Mntambo 80'

Thembinkosi Lorch 38'

Siphesihle Ndlovu 80'

Linda Mntambo 87'

Keane Peprah 54'

Kermit Erasmus 14'

Sandile Mthethwa 114'

Evidence Makgopa 20'


Daniel Cardoso 85'

Samir Nurkovic 54'

Keegan Dolly 49'

Keegan Dolly 90'pen

Reeve Frosler 18'

Erick Mathoho 81'

Yusuf Maart 74'

Olisa Ndah 89'og

Yusuf Maart 79'