Memela’s double strike sinks Kaizer Chiefs in Soweto Derby

The two Soweto giants came into the match looking to close the gap between themselves and the log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Orlando Pirates fans in good spirit after their team’s victory against rivals Kaizer Chiefs. Picture: @orlandopirates/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The 163rd Soweto Derby between old foes Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at the FNB Stadium began in frenetic fashion in sweltering conditions, but both sides knew that there was a rich reward from braving out the hot and humid conditions.

The two Soweto giants came into the match looking to close the gap between themselves and the log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who on Friday night stretched their lead at the top to seven points with a controversial 3-1 win over Amazulu at the Princess Magogo Stadium.

The clash being a home fixture for Pirates, Thembinkosi Lorch gave the home side the lead in what was the fastest Soweto Derby goal for Pirates since Kermit Erasmus scored in the ninth minute on 26 October 2013, netting in the 21st minute, after a disastrous error at the back from Willard Katsande.

The visitors were not to be outdone so early in the fixture. They were awarded a freekick 30 metres from goal, where Siphiwe Tshabalala produced a set-piece drill straight from the training ground.

His beautifully weighted cross into the box found the head of striker Leonardo Castro who made no mistake by heading it past a helpless Jackson Mabokgwane in goal and levelled things up inside the first half hour of play.

Both sides continued to pile the pressure on each other in the first half but went into the break with a goal apiece.

The encounter was promising a plethora of goals and Luvuyo Memela ensured that was so when he came off the bench after halftime replacing Bernard Morrison and put Pirates ahead again with his first touch of the ball right from kick-off.

The goal meant that Chiefs were playing catch-up football for the second time in the match, but the Buccaneers were piling on the pressure as they looked the more energized side in the second half.

Itumeleng Khune was forced to make a brilliant double save for Lorch’s efforts at goal as Pirates continued to dominate. Micho’s men were rewarded for the industry and dominance in the second half when Memela got his second of the match.

Ntsikelelo Nyauza showed great strength to outmuscle Cardoso down the left-hand flank before finding Justin Shonga who put in a brilliant cross for the on-rushing Memela who powered past Khune from close range and Pirates were 3-1 up.

Chiefs had only scored three goals in the same match on three occasions in the past year but for Pirates, they are the first team to score three past Khune since Cape Town City in April 2016.

The win for Pirates consolidates their number two position on the log on 39 points and are just four points behind Sundowns who are on 43 points, while the loss for Chiefs all but ends their Premiership title hopes.