Nyatama, Qalinge consider Pirates to victory

Goals from Musa Nyatama and Thabo Qalinge saw Orlando Pirates claim a 2-1 win more than AmaZulu at King Zwelithini Stadium on Sunday.

The result sees the Buccaneers continue to be in Absa Premiership title competition, as they shut to inside of 3 points of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns (who have a game in hand), even though Usuthu continues to be in tenth place on the log.

AmaZulu began strongly and claimed the lead in the eleventh minute: a fast counter-attack saw Ovidy Karuru run no cost down the proper flank right before giving a great small cross for Mabhuti Khenyeza to convert the ball home at the far post, 1-.

The team in eco-friendly were then ready to allow for Pirates the vast majority of possession, but they remained an excellent risk on the split, with the knowledge of Siyabonga Nomvethe and Khenyeza combining very well with the pace and vitality of Mhlengi Cele and Karuru.

The Buccaneers took an even though to get well from AmaZulu’s aggressive start, but in the 33rd minute, they drew level at 1-1, with Musa Nyatama’s glancing header from Luvoyo Memela’s no cost kick obtaining the far better of goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha.

Pirates endured an injury blow towards the top of the 1st 50 percent when Thembinkosi Lorch took an awkward drop and appeared to undergo a shoulder injury, necessitating the introduction of Augustine Mulenga at the start of the 2nd stanza.

The visitors appeared the likelier scorers right after the restart and AmaZulu goalkeeper Mbatha experienced quite a few heart-in-mouth moments wherever he wandered off his line to give Pirates hope of a 2nd goal but in some way the Usuthu defence held business.

On seventy-four minutes Mbatha pulled off an outstanding save, diving small to his proper to continue to keep out a small shot from Justin Shonga, right before AmaZulu wasted an excellent possibility, as Cele fired superior and large right after a low kick delivery glanced into his path.

AmaZulu’s courageous rearguard action lastly faltered in the eightieth minute, as a cross from the left by Harmless Maela was skipped by his teammates in the centre, but substitute Thabo Qalinge arrived late to fulfil the ball and strike a small shot into the again of the net, 2-1 to Bucs.

AmaZulu (1) 1 (Khenyeza 11’)

Orlando Pirates (1) 2 (Nyatama 33’, Qalinge 80’)

AmaZulu: S. Mbatha, Sikhakhane, M. Gumede, Ouro-Akoriko, Mabiliso, Ncube, Mnguni, Cele (Manzini 83’), Karuru, Nomvethe (Ncobeni 73’), Khenyeza (Morton 68’)

Pirates: Mpontshane, Thopola, Jele, Shitolo, Maela, Mlambo, Nyatama, Lorch (Mulenga 46’), Makola (Qalinge 61’), Memela (Munetsi 83’), Shonga


Zambian Justin Shonga eyeing CAF Champions League spot with South African giants – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Orlando Pirates

Justin Shonga of Orlando Pirates challenged by Sammy Seabi of Polokwane City

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 15:00

Zambia and Orlando Pirates striker Justin Shonga believes the Soweto giants must ensure they finish at the top during this current Premier Soccer League campaign in South Africa.

The Chipolopolo hitman says they must do well this season and ensure they qualify for the CAF Champions League.

Coach Milutin Sredojevic are now sitting at number two in the Absa Premiership and will hope to challenge for the league honours.

“My priority is the team because I believe there is much more that the team can do. Recently, things have not been going well and things should not be this way,” Shonga told Soccer Laduma.

“I watched the team last season and it was not good to see them performing that way.

“This season it must be different because a team like Pirates needs to be playing in the CAF Champions League and finishing in a good position on the log standings.

“It is unacceptable for a great team like this not to win anything.”

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Absa Premiership weekend wrap: Pirates only winners, Baroka continue to lead

Thabo Matlaba of Orlando Pirates and Aphiwe Lubisi of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates at Dr Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein on 26 November 2017 © Frikke Kapp/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 09:30

The weekend’s Absa Premiership action produced just one winner, while Baroka FC continue to be the surprise leaders of the top flight despite going five matches without a win.

The only team to claim a win through the weekend was Orlando Pirates, who defeated Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 away on Sunday thanks to a goal from former Phunya Sele Sele midfielder Musa Nyatama, and the result took the Buccaneers to second place on the log.

They trail Baroka FC by just one point after the Limpopo side was twice forced to come from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Platinum Stars. Bakgaga haven’t won since late September but continue to top the standings, while Dikwena have put together a five-match unbeaten run but remain second-last.

Saturday’s afternoon games saw two goalless stalemates, as Chippa United held Mamelodi Sundowns in Port Elizabeth and Maritzburg United did the same to champions Bidvest Wits in KwaZulu-Natal.

The early evening game saw Chiefs finally break their goal drought as they fought back to hold Free State Stars 1-1 at Moses Mabhida Stadium, with Bernard Parker’s equaliser cancelling out a strike from Nhlanhla Vilakazi which deflected off Daniel Cardoso.

The night games produced much more excitement and featured two strong comebacks: in Durban, Cape Town City fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Golden Arrows, while AmaZulu completed the same feat in their match away to Ajax Cape Town, with former Urban Warriors favourite Mabhuti Khenyeza netting the vital equaliser deep into injury time.

The Absa Premiership will resume with a catch-up game for SuperSport United on Wednesday 29 November, when they will host Ajax at Mbombela Stadium.

Absa Premiership weekend results

Saturday 25 November

Chippa United 0-0 Mamelodi Sundowns

Maritzburg United 0-0 Bidvest Wits

Kaizer Chiefs 1-1 Free State Stars

Golden Arrows 2-2 Cape Town City

Ajax Cape Town 2-2 AmaZulu

Sunday 26 November

Baroka FC 2-2 Platinum Stars

Bloemfontein Celtic 0-1 Orlando Pirates

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Orlando Pirates humble Bloemfontein Celtic – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Thabo Matlaba of Orlando Pirates and Aphiwe Lubisi of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates at Dr Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein on 26 November 2017 © Frikke Kapp/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Nov 26, 2017. 17:52

Orlando Pirates beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

As a result, Pirates climbed up to second place on the league table, while Celtic slip down to eighth spot on the standings.

Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb and his Pirates counterpart Jackson Mabokgwane were not seriously tested in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Tignyemb was called into action in the 16th minute and he denied Pirates midfielder Luvuyo Memela as the visitors began to press Celtic.

Pirates defender-cum-midfielder Gladwin Shitolo thought he had given his side the lead a few minutes before the half-hour mark, but he was ruled offside.

The momentum was with Celtic after the half-hour mark with Kabelo Mahlasela looking lively for the hosts.

But the Celtic attacking midfielder was contained by the Pirates defence and the two sides were locked at 0-0 at half-time.

The Buccaneers had slightly dominated the first-half, but they could not beat Cameroonian shot-stopper Tignyemb.

Pirates were forced to concede two corner-kicks by Celtic in the first five minutes of the second-half and the visitors dealt well with the set-pieces.

The home side’s defence was then caught napping and former Celtic midfielder Musa Nyatama beat Tignyemb to make it 1-0 to Pirates in the 62nd minute.

There was a defensive mix-up in the Pirates box seven minutes later, but Celtic could not punish the visitors following a cross by Deon Hotto.

The momentum was Celtic in the closing stages of the game with Pirates forced to sit back and defend.

Pirates defended very well in the dying minutes and ultimately, they ran out 1-0 winners over Celtic.

Celtic 0

Pirates (0) 1 (Nyatama 62′)

Celtic: Tignyemb, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Lubisi, Baloyi, Mashikinya (Mabaso 85′), Phalane, Letsoalo (Nyundu 60′), Mahlasela (Motshegwa 77′), Hotto, Mabena.

Pirates: Mabokgwane, Chabalala, Shitolo, Nyauza, Matlaba, Sangweni, Nyatama, Qalinge (Rakhale 57′), Memela, Makola (Sarr 71′), Gabuza (Nkosi 91’+1).

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Celtic out to claim Pirates’ scalp

Marc Van Heerden of Orlando Pirates and Ayanda Dlamini of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership match between Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates on 10 May 2017 at Dr Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein ©Frikkie Kapp /BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 17:30

Bloemfontein Celtic will look to claim the scalp of Orlando Pirates when the teams meet in the Absa Premiership at the Dr Molemela Stadium on 26 November 2017, kick-off at 15h30.

Celtic have claimed 10 points from the last 15 up for grabs and were held to a goalless draw by lowly-placed Platinum Stars on November 22. The Bloemfontein side come into the match placed fourth on the log and hopeful that a strong showing will push them even further up the standings.

Phunya Sele Sele have claimed seven points from a possible 12 in home matches so far this season. Their last game as hosts saw them claim a 1-0 win over Maritzburg United before the last international break.

Pirates have gone six league games without a win after they were held 0-0 at home by Golden Arrows on November 21. The Soweto side last claimed a victory when they beat Cape Town City 1-0 at home in September and they have taken just four points from a possible 18 since then.

The Buccaneers have yet to win on the road this season, recording four draws and one defeat from their five away matches. Coach Milutin Sredojevic will want to see his side up their game for this clash in Bloemfontein.

In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Pirates have met in 58 league matches since 1985. The Buccaneers have claimed 29 wins compared to 14 for Phunya Sele Sele, while 15 matches have been drawn. The Bloemfontein side has won 10 of their 20 home league matches against the Soweto side, suffering 10 defeats in the process.

Last season Celtic took four points off Pirates, first claiming a 2-1 away win in Soweto in the first half of the campaign, before the return game in Bloemfontein ended in a goalless stalemate.

Celtic’s line-up from their 0-0 draw with Stars on November 22: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Jembula (Letsoalo 69′), Motshegwa (Mahlasela 55′), Letlabika, Baloyi, Hotto, Nyundu (Mabaso 63′), Phalane.

Pirates’ line-up from their 0-0 draw with Arrows on November 21: Mabokgwane, Chabalala, Shitolo, Van Heerden (Memela 69′), Nyauza, Matlaba, Nyatama, Qalinge (Morrison 79′), Lorch, Makola, Gabuza (Kutumela 54′).

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Orlando Pirates unaware Foster underwent trials at AS Monaco – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Lyle Foster of Orlando Pirates during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City at Soccer City, Johannesburg on 19 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 17:00

Orlando Pirates administrative manager Floyd Mbele is unaware of media reports stating that Lyle Foster underwent trials at AS Monaco.

On Thursday, reports coming of South Africa stated that the Bucs striker went for a two-week assessment at the French Ligue 1 giants.

However, Bucs club official Mbele insisted that he was not aware of the news when speaking to Goal South Africa.

“I don’t know what you are talking about. Honestly, I’m not aware that he went to Monaco for an assessment,” Mbele told Goal.

“It’s the first time I’m hearing this. I’m not aware of any assessment the player went through abroad.”

Foster, who is a South African Under-20 international, was promoted to the Bucs first team this season.

He has since made four appearances in the Absa Premiership for the Buccaneers.

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Uganda’s Ivan Ntege linked with a move to South African giants Orlando Pirates – Botswana Premier League 2017/18

Ivan Ntege of Uganda gets away from Youssouf Kabore of Burkina Faso during the 2014 CAF African Nations Championships Group B football match between Uganda and Burkina Faso at Athlone Stadium, Cape Town on 12 January 2014

Staff Reporter

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 14:30

Uganda and Township Rollers midfielder Ivan Ntege has attracted interest in the South African Premier Soccer League, with Orlando Pirates keeping tabs on him.

According to media reports in Botswana, Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic a former Cranes mentor, is known to be a fan of the Ugandan international.

With Rollers open to listening to offers, the Botswana Premier League outfit could part ways with Ntege and Tshepo Matete who is linked with a move to AmaZulu.

Speaking to the Sunday Standard newspaper in Botswana, Rollers spokesperson Bafana Pheto says they are yet to receive offers regarding their duo.

“We are open to offers regarding any of our players and encourage our players to work hard to gain recognition in big leagues,” Pheto told Sunday Standard.

“We will not stand in any way of players if offers come forth but at the moment we have not heard anything formal but aware of such rumours,”

Although Pheto declined to divulge the duo’s worth in the transfer market, he insists they would hold discussions at management level to decide on the value of players.

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Orlando Pirates continue winless run in Absa Premiership

Thabo Qalinge of Orlando Pirates tackled by Limbikani Mzava and Nkanyiso Cele of Golden Arrows during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Orlando Pirates and Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium, Soweto South Africa on 21 November 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 21:43

Orlando Pirates have gone six matches without a win in the Absa Premiership after a 0-0 draw against Golden Arrows on Wednesday night at Orlando Stadium.

The hosts had a number of chances upfront, but now sit at sixth spot in the league with 15 points from 11 matches in their campaign.

Despite good touches from the hosts in the early stages of the contest, they could not test Arrows goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede in the first 10 minutes.

However, three minutes later Thabo Matlaba had his powerful left-footed effort saved by Gumede.

In the 27th minute Thabo Qalinge dribbled past four Arrows defenders into the box, but was let down by his final shot at goal which went straight at Gumede who cleared the danger.

Just after the half-hour mark Pirates lost the ball in the midfield and allowed Kudakwashe Mahachi to make a dangerous run into the box, only to see his final touch swallowed by keeper Jackson Mabokgwane.

Arrows resorted to long range efforts and Mabokgwane was called to produce a fine save to deny Zolani Nkombelo in the 41st minute.

It was 0-0 at half time.

With both sides coming from the tunnel energised, it was Clinton Larsen’s men who wasted a glorious chance to score when Mutizwa’s shot was saved by Mabokgwane after beating his marker in the box.

In the 62nd minute, Pirates intensified their probe for a goal and saw a Musa Nyatama effort saved by Gumede – the rebound fell for an unmarked Justice Chabalala whose effort sailed over the cross bar from close range.

The Soweto giants tried to pull out all their tricks in search of a winner, but were unable to break the deadlock.

For the visitors, Arrows now sit at the second spot on the log table with 16 points after 11 games in the league.

Orlando Pirates: 0

Golden Arrows: 0

Orlando Pirates: Mabokgwane, Chabalala, Shitolo, Van Heerden (Memela 69′), Nyauza, Matlaba, Nyatama, Qalinge (Morrison 79′), Lorch, Makola, Gabuza (Kutumela 54′)

Golden Arrows: Gumede, Mngwengwe, Mzava, S. Dube, Nkombelo, Cele, Shongwe (Bilankulu 58′), Sibiya (Fikizolo 46′), Mahachi (Lamola 71′), Magubane, Mutizwa

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Pirates, Arrows looking to bounce back – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Orlando Pirates celebrates their first goal during 2017 Telkom Knockout match between Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates at Princess Magogo Stadium in Kwa Mashu in Durban South Africa on 28 October 2017 © Aubrey Kgakatsi /BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 10:30

Both Orlando Pirates and Golden Arrows will be looking to bounce back from Absa Premiership defeats when they face off at the Orlando Stadium on 21 November 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Pirates suffered their first home defeat of the season when they were beaten 3-1 by Mamelodi Sundowns on November 1. The Soweto side had claimed 10 points from a possible 12 as hosts until the Brazilians came to visit.

The Buccaneers’ coach Milutin Sredojevic will be concerned that his team has gone five league matches without picking up a win – their last three-pointer was a 1-0 victory over Cape Town City back in mid September.

Arrows suffered their first league defeat of the season when they were beaten 3-0 at SuperSport United on October 31. The Durban side has gone five league matches without a win and coach Clinton Larsen will be concerned with their dip in form.

Abafana Bes’thende have claimed nine points from six away matches so far this season, while two of their three league victories have been on the road – 3-1 at Bidvest Wits and 1-0 at Platinum Stars.

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and Arrows have met in 32 league matches since 2000/01. The Buccaneers have claimed 18 wins compared to six for Abafana Bes’thende, while eight matches have been drawn. The Soweto side has won 10 of their 16 home league matches against their Durban counterparts, suffering just two defeats in the process.

Last season Pirates claimed a 3-1 home win in the first half of the campaign, but the return game in Durban saw Arrows claim a 2-1 win on the final day of the season. These teams have not played to a draw in a league meeting since the first half of the 2009/10 season.

Pirates’ line-up from their 3-1 loss to Sundowns on November 1: Sandilands, Mobara, Chabalala, Maela (Nyatama 34′), Van Heerden, Matlaba, Sarr, Qalinge, Lorch (Morrison 73′), Makola, Kutumela (Gabuza 23′).

Arrows’ line-up from their 3-0 loss to SuperSport United on October 31: Gumede, Nkombelo, Mzava, Mngwengwe, Dube, Bilankulu, Magubane (Shongwe 57′), Mahachi, Sibiya (Chideu 46′ [Lamola 74′]), Jooste, Mutizwa.

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Polokwane City stun Orlando Pirates in TKO – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Mpho Makola of Orlando Pirates challenged by Lorence Vilakazi of Polokwane City during the 2017 Telkom Knockout football match between Orlando Pirates and Polokwane City at Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg on 04 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Nov 04, 2017. 23:40

Polokwane City defeated Orlando Pirates 4-2 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in a Telkom Knockout Cup quarter-final match at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

The win sees Rise and Shine book their place in this year’s semi-finals, while the Buccaneers are eliminated from the competition.

It took only two minutes for the home side to break the deadlock – silencing the Pirates fans inside the Mecca of South African football.

Rendani Ndou headed into an empty following a good cross by Rodney Ramagalela to make it 1-0 to Polokwane in the second minute.

However, Rise and Shine’s lead only lasted for 11 minutes as Ntsikelelo Nyauza scored with a powerful low shot to make it 1-1 for Pirates.

The hosts should have taken the lead for the first time after there were awarded a penalty in the 25th minute, but Mpho Makola missed the target.

Polokwane then managed to regain their lead in the 41st minute when Ndou fired past Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands to make it 2-1.

Pirates then pressed Polokwane and they restored parity again, and this time it was Makola, who scored in stoppage time. The score was 2-2 at the interval.

The Buccaneers enjoyed more possession in the first 15 minutes of the second-half as they searched for their third goal.

However, Rise and Shine looked dangerous on transition with hard-running striker Ramagalela spearheading their attack.

Polokwane’s substitute keeper Harold Ndlovu and his Pirates counter-part Sandilands produced late saves to ensure that the game went into extra-time.

There were no goals in extra-time and the match went into a penalty shootout. Polokwane went on to win 4-2 on penalties.

Pirates (2) 2 (Nyauza 13′, Makola 45’+3)

Polokwane (2) 2 (Ndou 2′, 41′)

Polokwane emerged 4-2 winners on penalties.

Pirates: Sandilands, Chabalala, Nyauza, Van Heerden, Matlaba, Nyatama, Makola (Rakhale 110′), Qalinge (Norodien 102′), Lorch (Kutumela 58′), Shonga, Gabuza.

Polokwane: Chigova (Ndlovu 35′), Semenya, Ravhuhali, Mbonani, Maponyane, Seabi, Vilakazi, Klaas (Mngomezulu 56′), Ramagalela, Maluleke, Ndou (Booi 87′).

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Pirates suffer defeat against Sundowns in Orlando – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates a goal during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns on 01 November 2017 at Orlando Stadium @Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 01, 2017. 21:48

A goal by Marc Van Heerden was not enough for Orlando Pirates as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday night at Orlando Stadium.

The defeat leaves the Soweto giants placed at number seven on the log standings with 14 points after 10 league games.

For the visitors, two first half goals through Hlompho Kekana and one goal from Anthony Laffor ensured they ended their three-match losing streak.

As early as the second minute, the Brazilians grabbed the lead as skipper Kekana intercepted a back pass by Abbubaker Mobara to goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands and his block went into the goal, handing the visitors an early lead.

Despite Sundowns’ early goal, the Buccaneers dominated the first 10 minutes as they pushed to get an equaliser.

However against the run of play, Kekana completed his brace in the 13th minute as he caught Sandilands off his line to hand the visitors their 2-0 lead after a spectacular long range effort from his own half.

After the first quarter, coach Pitso Mosimane’s men won all the second balls in the heart of the park and kept Pirates in their own half, but there were no clear cut chances.

Yet right in the 20th minute, Pirates skipper Thabo Matlaba tried a long range effort to test keeper Denis Onyango, but could not hit the target.

The 30th minute allowed the visitors to push forward and Kekana nearly bagged his hat-trick after dispossessing Issa Sarr, only to see his shot going wide of the right post.

With seven minutes to the interval, Bangaly Soumahoro fouled Thabo Qalinge on the edge of the box and a fine left-footed set piece through Van Heerden brought the hosts back into the game as he beat Onyango hands down.

It was 2-1 at the end of the opening stanza.

The end-to-end stuff continued in the second half as both sides kept on attacking, but it was coach Milutin Sredojevic’s side that threatened the most with their good passing display.

In the the 60th minute, Kekana tried a beautiful set piece on the d-line and managed to produce a fine save from Sandilands, who punched the ball away.

Pirates moved forward with purpose and Sundowns failed to clear the ball in the box which fell for Qalinge, but his shot was cleared off the line by Soumahoro in the 68th minute.

Qalinge showed his class but rushed his decision in the box in the final nine minutes after a clever turn to beat Sundowns’ defence, as he failed to put the ball into the net with Onyango out of his line.

The last three minutes saw the hosts dominating the proceedings as they constantly knocked at Sundowns door, but substitute Laffor grabbed the lead after a great pass from Themba Zwane to unleash a rocket on the roof of the net, 3-1.

Meanwhile, Sundowns now sit at number eight on the log table with 12 points after seven games so far.

Orlando Pirates (1) 1 (Van Heerden 38′)

Mamelodi Sundowns (2) 3 (Kekana 2′, 13′, Laffor 90′)

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Mobara, Chabalala, Maela (Nyatama 34′), Van Heerden, Matlaba, Sarr, Qalinge, Lorch (Morrison 73′), Makola, Kutumela (Gabuza 23′)

Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango, Langerman, Soumahoro, Morena, Madisha, Ngcongca, Kekana (T. Zwane 75′), Mabunda, Vilakazi (Laffor 79′), Manyisa, Tau (Billiat 69′)

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Pirates coach admits respect for Sundowns ahead of heavyweight bout – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Micho Sredojevic

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 10:30

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has admitted that he has a huge amount of respect for Mamelodi Sundowns and their coach Pitso Mosimane.

The two teams will meet for a high-profile Absa Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium tomorrow night.

The Buccaneers have not enjoyed their recent meetings with ‘Downs, notably suffering a club-record 6-0 defeat against Mosimane’s side back in February.

However, this will be the first time Pirates face up to the Brazilians since ‘Micho’ returned for his second spell at the club.

In addition, ‘Downs come into the game on the back of three successive defeats, including a shock 1-0 loss at Chippa United in the Telkom Knockout this past weekend.

Pirates, for their part, beat Golden Arrows in Durban to advance into the quarterfinals of the competition.

“We are having in front of us match number 10 in the league and we are playing a team that have proven themselves still as reigning African champions,” said Sredojevic, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“They are a very good group of individuals that are playing top class football as a team. They have my very good friend of the last 15 years since I came to South Africa Pitso Mosimane, who for me is the Alex Ferguson of South African football as a coach.

“It might look like an extraordinary league match both for us and them, but we are totally concentrated on the game.

“It is one team that has reached the best of their abilities in the last two years against another team that is on the rise – ourselves. We are in the process of rebuilding and the process of proving ourselves.

“We are extremely motivated, respecting our opponents while also having respect for ourselves, our club of 80 years, our supporters and most importantly the funny and unpredictable nature of football.

“We are entering Wednesday’s game with intention to measure ourselves, to see how far we have come, to give our best in 90 minutes and look forward to getting the best we can from the match.”

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Qalinge strike takes Pirates into TKO quarters

Orlando Pirates celebrates their first goal during 2017 Telkom Knockout match between Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates at Princess Magogo Stadium in Kwa Mashu in Durban South Africa on 28 October 2017 © Aubrey Kgakatsi /BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 28, 2017. 17:43

Thabo Qalinge scored the only goal of the game as Orlando Pirates overcame Golden Arrows in a Telkom Knockout last 16 match at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The victory sees the Buccaneers keep up their 100 percent record against Abafana Bes’thende in knockout matches and advance into the quarterfinals of South Africa’s League Cup.

Arrows began the match with great confidence, but it was Pirates who created the early chances, with Justin Shonga denied by Nkosingiphile Gumede at close range in the 11th minute, followed by a glancing header onto the post from Thabo Qalinge five minutes later.

The home side’s best chance of the first half arrived on the 30-minute mark when Zolani Nkombelo provided a teasing cross from the left which was touched just wide by striker Lerato Lamola.

On 35 minutes the Buccaneers broke the deadlock, with the excellent Qalinge running onto a flick-on from Lorch before lobbing the on-rushing Gumede to find the back of the net and make it 1-0.

Qalinge continued his magic early in the second half and on 51 minutes he burst through the Arrows defence, only to be denied at the last second by a crucial intervention from Nkombelo.

Abafana Bes’thende blew a great chance to equalise in the 67th minute, with Knox Mutizwa left unmarked to have a free header from a corner kick, but the Zimbabwean put his effort over the target.

On 82 minutes the Durban side created another great chance when a flick-on put Siphelele Magubane in on goal, but the attacking midfielder saw his powerful effort turned away by goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane.

That chance signaled the start of a siege on Pirates’ goal in the dying stages, but try as they might, Golden Arrows couldn’t find a way to put the ball in the back of the net and exit the TKO in the first round.

Golden Arrows 0

Orlando Pirates (1) 1 (Qalinge 35’)

Arrows: Gumede, S. Dube, Mngwengwe, Mzava, Nkombelo, Mahachi (Jappie 65’), Shongwe (Chideu 71’), Bilankulu, Magubane, Mutizwa, Lamola (Sibiya 46’)

Pirates: Mabokgwane, Maela, Nyauza, Chabalala, Matlaba, Sarr, Makola, Qalinge, Lorch (Mobara 73’), Shonga (Rakhale 63’), Kutumela (Shitolo 85’)

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Orlando Pirates coach ‘Micho’: We are laying foundations – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Micho Sredojevic

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 28, 2017. 13:00

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has urged fans to be patient with him and the team, as they are in the process of laying the foundations of success.

Former Uganda coach ‘Micho’ was brought to the Buccaneers ahead of the current season after the club endured a disastrous campaign in 2016/17.

The Serbian has overseen a solid if unspectacular start to the current season, though they have failed to win any of their last four matches and were held to a dour goalless draw by Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs last weekend.

Sredojevic understands that Bucs’ supporters want a more attacking brand of football, but he believes the team needs to be on a stronger foundation before the players can express themselves with freedom.

“We want to give double joy to our supporters; this means good football and positive results. Sometimes teams win but don’t play a good brand of football and that is also frustrating for the fans. On the other hand, sometimes you play really well but don’t win,” ‘Micho’ told Pirates’ official website.

“We are in the process of building and for that reason I can say that we [the technical team] were generally pleased with the performance of the team last week. Having said that, I also fully understand the expectations of our supporters.

“No coach joins this club blind of those expectations. This is why we are not ready to rest. We are working around the clock and it’s only a matter of time before we get our systems in place. The supporters must understand that it is a process. We will get it right.

“We are pushing all departments to play with the brand of football that will excite supporters and make them happy. We are building a house here, and it starts with foundations before putting a roof on it. The habit of scoring has to be done through repetitions, and that’s our aim as a technical team.”

Pirates will be in action later this afternoon when they face Golden Arrows in a last 16 Telkom Knockout clash at Princess Magogo Stadium.

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Zambian international delighted to join South African giants Orlando Pirates – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Justin Shonga of Zambia ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Oct 27, 2017. 14:30

Zambian international and Orlando Pirates striker, Justin Shonga has revealed that legendary Chipolopolo striker Collins Mbesuma has inspired him.

Shonga said playing in the South African Premier Soccer League is a good thing for his career as he used to watch the Soweto giants.

Mbesuma is one of the Zambians who have done well in the PSL having starred for Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Highlands and the Buccaneers.

The former Nkwazi FC hitman is yet to score in South Africa, but will hope to be on the mark as they visit Lamontville Golden Arrows in the Telkom Knockout Last 16 at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday.

“Joining Pirates is a good thing. I used to watch Pirates some time back when they had players like Mbesuma and Chansa,” Shonga tells

“I am happy to join them because it’s every player’s dream to play for a big club. I am having a good time and the reception was okay. They received me well and I have been mingling well with the guys.

“I want to achieve a lot of things. I want to score goals for the club and help the club win cups. We have to push hard for us to get that because it won’t just come easy. When you join a new club, you need to work hard to find a position to be playing.”

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We won’t make life easy for Pirates

Kudakwashe Mahachi of Golden Arrows

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 20:00

Golden Arrows winger Kudakwashe Mahachi says his team “are not going to make life easy” for Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Knockout this weekend.

Arrows, who are unbeaten in the league this season and only exited the MTN8 on penalties against Bidvest Wits, will host the Buccaneers at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday afternoon for a round of 16 clash in South Africa’s equivalent of the League Cup.

The Durban side will be looking to avenge their loss at the hands of Pirates in the same cup competition last year.

“The MTN8 we lost against Bidvest Wits on penalties, but we did well and now there’s a chance to play another cup against Orlando Pirates,” Mahachi is quoted by KickOff.

“You know Orlando Pirates is a big team in South Africa, but we are not going to make life easy for them as we are a small team.

“It was painful to lose to them last season in the same competition, but we are eager this time to change things around.”

The Zimbabwean believes that the consistency in management and playing staff from last season to this has been the secret behind their success thus far.

“We are happy as a team. We kept our squad from last season and in the second half of last season we were doing well,” he explained.

“So this is continuation of where we left off. I think we also have to give credit to the coaches and the management for keeping the core of the team.

“So, with that said, I think we are going to do better than last season. But we are not putting into our head that we’ve started well. We are pushing as a small team.”

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Orlando Pirates coach not worried by winless streak – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Milutin Sredojevic , coach of Orlando Pirates and Rhulani Mokoena reacts to the referee during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 21 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 12:30

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic says he is “not worried” that his side has gone four matches without a win.

The Soweto giants have recorded three draws and one defeat since their 1-0 win over Cape Town City on September 19.

The Buccaneers will have their first taste of cup football this season when they face Golden Arrows in a last 16 Telkom Knockout clash in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

Serbian ‘Micho’ insists that his side is playing well and dominating matches – they just need to finish off their chances.

“It is true that we haven’t won in four matches but I am not worried,” Sredojevic said, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“We are introducing a new set-up that we want to build our house in a way that we have an identity.

“We dominated our last four games, but the only thing that was missing was converting the chances we created.

“In a marathon called the league, you have some bad patches but the most important thing is collecting the odd point here and there while you build your momentum.

“I am convinced that we will start to get wins. The performances that we have displayed are injecting us with immense confidence. We will continue playing our way. The results will come.”

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Innocent Maela wants to restore glory days at Orlando Pirates

Siphiwe Tshabalala of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 21 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 16:00

Orlando Pirates defender Innocent Maela believes the Telkom Knockout Cup is an opportunity for the Soweto giants to reclaim their trophy dominance.

The Buccaneers have been drawn against Lamontville Golden Arrows in the Last 16 of the tournament, and the left back wants them to rectify their ways.

Maela says this is an opportunity for them to change what happened in the past two seasons as Pirates failed to lift any silverware.

“Pirates are a big club and our supporters expect us to win every available trophy, so we have to fight and ensure we give them what they want so they can be happy,” said Maela.

“We all know what happened in the past two seasons, but this is a different season and we are all determined to bring the club to its best.”

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Chiefs, Pirates share the spoils in goalless draw – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Thabiso Kutumela of Orlando Pirates challenged by Siyabonga Ngezana of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 21 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 17:39

Soweto derby rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates played to a goalless draw in their Absa Premiership match at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

It’s the fourth successive league draw between the teams, who cancelled each other out in front of a big crowd at ‘Soccer City’.

Pirates enjoyed the majority of possession through the first half, but Chiefs’ defence held them at arm’s length quite comfortably. The team in black and white called Itumeleng Khune into notable action only twice, both long-range efforts from Thabo Qalinge and Thabo Rakhale which were well saved by the Chiefs goalkeeper.

Mpho Makola also had an opening late in the half after a clever back-heel from the effusive Qalinge, but the veteran midfield fired straight into the side netting from a tight angle.

Chiefs’ best chance came from a set piece in the 29th minute, as George Maluleka picked out young defender Siyabonga Ngezana, whose headed effort rebounded off Wayne Sandilands’ left-hand post.

Pirates struck the woodwork early in the second half: on 55 minutes Makola picked out the run of Qalinge with a great ball over the defence and the attacking midfielder rattled the crossbar with an acrobatic volley.

That chance brought about a new energy to the game, which both teams suddenly prepared to commit more men forward in attack. Chiefs brought on Gustavo Paez to boost their forward line, while Pirates introduced both Bernard Morrison and Thamsanqa Gabuza.

The next big chance arrived in the 71st minute: Chiefs’ Siphiwe Tshabalala swung in a free kick to find the head of Willard Katsande, but the midfielder’s effort was kept out by a great one-handed save by Sandilands.

Shortly thereafter Pirates had the ball in the back of the net when Morrison turned home Makola’s cross, but the goal was correctly ruled out as the Ghanaian was both offside and used his hand to knock the ball home.

That proved to be the last real highlight in attack, as both teams saw out the remainder of the game to share the points.

Kaizer Chiefs 0

Orlando Pirates 0

Chiefs: Khune, Ngezana (Meyiwa 74’), Cardoso, Mathoho, Zulu, Molangoane, Katsande, Maluleka, Ekstein (Paez 55’), Tshabalala, Parker (Moon 86’)

Pirates: Sandilands, Matlaba, Chabalala, Nyauza, Maela, Qalinge (Lorch 81’), Sarr, Mobara, Makola, Rakhale (Gabuza 64’), Kutumela (Morrison 56’)

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Soweto Derby – Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Orlando Pirates – As it happened – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 17:17

Welcome to coverage of the Absa Premiership Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates from the FNB Stadium.


All times CAT

90+4′ – Full time – It ends in a predictable draw, a fair reflection of the game. Both teams hit the woodwork, neither really did enough to earn all three points.

90+3′ – But Tshabalala’s free kick is headed clear.

90+2′ – Yellow card – Mobara with a stupid challenge to give away a free kick in a dangerous position right at the death.

90+1′ – There will be three minutes of added time.

90′ – Pirates with a corner kick in the final minute of regulation time, but they don’t really test Chiefs’ defence.

87′ – Yellow card – Tshabalala booked for a late challenge on Sarr.

86′ – Substitution – The final change sees Ryan Moon replace Parker upfront for Chiefs.

85′ – Pirates with a corner kick from Makola, but Mathoho heads clear.

83′ – Chiefs ending the match strongly, they look to have plenty of legs left. Pirates are tired and weary after bossing most of the game.

81′ – Substitution – Thembinkosi Lorch replaces the excellent Qalinge, who finally ran out of steam after a great performance.

80′ – Great chance for Chiefs! Maluleka crosses from the right to pick out an unmarked Cardoso at the back post, but he volleys over!

77′ – Yellow card – Makola goes through Meyiwa and is deservedly booked.

76′ – Chiefs with a free kick in a great attacking position… Tshabalala looks to shoot on goal, but only hits the wall.

74′ – Substitution – Wiseman Meyiwa replaces Ngezana for Chiefs.

73′ – Yellow card – Pirates have the ball in the back of the net as Morrison turns home Makola’s cross, but the forward used his hand and is rightly booked.

71′ – Tshabalala crosses from a free kick, Katsande heads on target… great one-handed save from Sandilands! He hasn’t had much to do, but he was sharp to the danger that time!

68′ – Molangoane crosses from the right, Parker tries an overhead kick which doesn’t come off. Goal kick to Pirates.

66′ – Maela floats in a cross from the left, Gabuza gets up to win the header but can’t direct his effort on target.

64′ – Substitution – Rakhale off and Thamsanqa Gabuza on in Pirates’ second change.

63′ – Chiefs with a sustained attack which ends with Tshabalala shooting toward the near post and Sandilands saving. But it should have been so much more for the Amakhosi, they had Bucs on the rack just then!

61′ – Past the hour mark, the tempo has risen after those substitutions – both teams now have more energy and movement upfront.

58′ – Qalinge shoots on goal direct from a free kick, punched away by Khune.

57′ – Yellow card – Ngezana booked for a clumsy challenge.

56′ – Substitution – Pirates’ first change sees Kutumela make way for Bernard Morrison.

55′ – Makola chips a ball over the top to find the run of Qalinge, who tries an acrobatic volley and rattles the crossbar! So close for Bucs!
Substitution – Chiefs’ first change sees Gustavo Paez replace Ekstein.

53′ – Tshabalala with a good delivery from the set piece, but no chance created for Amakhosi.

52′ – Rare chance for Chiefs as Zulu crosses from the left and Parker looks to head on goal… the ball loops out of play for a corner kick.

51′ – Back to the same pattern as the first half: plenty of the ball for Pirates, but Chiefs able to defend quite comfortably.

48′ – Parker picks up a loose ball and shoots from range, but his effort is high and wide.

46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

45+2′ – Half time – Goalless at the break. Pirates have enjoyed most of the ball, but have had little penetration. Chiefs look dangerous from set pieces and will hope to win the chess battle in the second stanza.

45′ – Qalinge picks out Makola with a great back-heel, but the Pirates midfielder then shoots into the side netting!

44′ – Yellow card – Sarr cautioned for a trip on Katsande in midfield.

43′ – Pirates work a corner to see Rakhale shoot through bodies from outside the ‘D’ of the box and Khune gets down to make a fine save low to his right!

41′ – Makola shoots from range… again not on target. Chiefs still keeping Bucs at arm’s length with relative ease.

39′ – Mathoho with a good challenge to stop Matlaba in his tracks. Now Rakhale gets a curling shot away, but it’s an easy save for Khune.

36′ – Yellow card – Katsande cautioned for a foul in midfield, he’ll have to tread carefully for the rest of the match.

35′ – Good work from Cardoso to hold off Kutumela. The Chiefs defence hasn’t really been tested thus far.

33′ – Matlaba shoots from range… high and wide.

31′ – Rakhale with a good cross from the right, but it’s just too high for Kutumela to get onto.

29′ – Maluleka crosses from the set piece, Ngezana wins the header at the back post and hits the opposite upright with his effort! So close to a second goal in as many games for the youngster!

28′ – Tshabalala wins a free kick wide on the right for Chiefs. What can the Amakhosi create from this?

26′ – Maela with a fine cross from the left, but Pirates don’t have the numbers in Chiefs’ box to take advantage.

24′ – Past the midway point of the first half, still goalless at FNB Stadium between Chiefs and Pirates.

22′ – Parker with a couple of touches in Pirates’ box, but he’s quickly crowded out by Chabalala and Mobara.

20′ – Qalinge seeing a lot of the ball and doing a great job to link play for Pirates, but they need a little more speed and incisiveness to trouble the Amakhosi.

17′ – Chiefs used similar tactics away to Mamelodi Sundowns in midweek and came away with an impressive 2-1 victory.

16′ – Plenty of the ball for Bucs, but they don’t really look threatening. Chiefs will be quite comfortable with the way the game is going.

14′ – Yellow card – Kutumela receives a silly booking for a challenge on Khune.

12′ – Makola with a long-range drive… high and wide, no worry for Khune.

11′ – Tshabalala plays a great reverse pass to put Parker in on goal, but Sandilands was quick off his line to smother the ball!

10′ – A sustained spell of possession for Pirates ends with Qalinge crossing from the right, only for Khune to make an easy catch.

7′ – Chiefs with an attacking free kick which takes a couple of deflections before bouncing into the hands of goalkeeper Sandilands, who is playing in his first Soweto Derby.

5′ – The corner is initially cleared by Zulu and Chiefs go on to defend solidly in the face of some Pirates pressure, before Maluleka wins a free kick near his own penalty area.

4′ – Qalinge tries from long range and his skidding shot is turned away for a corner kick by Khune!

2′ – Qalinge with an early piece of showboating to get the crowd cheering…

1′ – Kick-off – We are underway at FNB Stadium! Chiefs wear gold with black trim, while Pirates are in black with white trim.

15h25 – Thando Ndzandzeka is the referee for today’s match. We are just a few minutes away from kick-off…

15h15 – There’s little to separate these teams as they come into this clash: Pirates are third on the log with 13 points, while Chiefs are fourth on 12 points. A draw would seem the likely result and history backs this up: the teams have drawn their last three league meetings in succession, while seven of the last 10 have ended in stalemates.

15h00 – Half an hour to kick-off, here are the starting XIs:

Kaizer Chiefs: Itumeleng Khune, Siyabonga Ngezana, Daniel Cardoso, Erick Mathoho, Philani Zulu, Joseph Molangoane, Willard Katsande, George Maluleka, Hendrick Ekstein, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker

Orlando Pirates: Wayne Sandilands, Thabo Matlaba, Justice Chabalala, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Innocent Maela, Thabo Qalinga, Abbubaker Mobara, Issa Sarr, Mpho Makola, Thabo Rakhale, Thabiso Kutumela

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Chiefs, Pirates set for sizzling Soweto derby – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

George Maluleka and Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs reacts to Bernard Morrison of Orlando Pirates during 2017 Carling Black Label Champion Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on 29 July 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 14:00

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will renew their famous derby rivalry in the Absa Premiership when they meet at the FNB Stadium on 21 October 2017, kick-off at 15h30.

Chiefs come into the match on the back of a 2-1 away win over Mamelodi Sundowns on October 17. The victory, which was secured by goals from Siyabonga Ngezana and Bernard Parker, was a major relief for under-pressure coach Steve Komphela.

However, home matches have not been kind to the Amakhosi thus far in the 2017/18 season: their four turns as hosts have yet to produce a league win and include surprise losses at the hands of SuperSport United and Baroka FC.

Pirates have gone three league matches without a win after they were held 1-1 at home by bottom-of-the-log Platinum Stars on October 18. The result saw the Sea Robbers lose their 100 percent record at home this season and continue their relatively lean run in terms of goal scoring – Milutin Sredojevic’s side have netted just seven times in eight league matches.

The Buccaneers have also yet to record an away win this season, picking up just three points from four games on the road. Their last away result was a 2-2 draw at Polokwane City before the recent international break.

In head-to-head stats, Chiefs and Pirates have met in 63 league matches since 1985. The Amakhosi have claimed 24 wins compared to 13 for the Buccaneers, while no less than 26 encounters have ended in draws. The team in gold and black have won 13 of their 30 home matches in the rivalry, suffering six defeats in the process.

Last season the teams shared the spoils in both league meetings: they drew 0-0 in Pirates’ home match, while the return game with Chiefs as hosts ended 1-1 after an own goal from Tsepo Masilela and a strike from Joseph Molangoane. The teams have played to three successive draws and have shared the spoils in seven of their last 10 meetings in the top flight.

Chiefs’ line-up from their 2-1 win over Sundowns on October 17: Khune, Cardoso, Mathoho, Ngezana, Zulu, Katsande, Maluleka, Ekstein (Zuma 78′), Tshabalala (Meyiwa 89′), Molangoane, Parker (Chirambadare 90+4′).

Pirates’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Stars on October 18: Sandilands, Mobara, Mtshali, Nyauza, Maela, Matlaba, Nyatama (Kutumela 46′), Qalinge (Foster 83′), Lorch (Shonga 62′), Makola, Gabuza.

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We aren’t scoring enough – Orlando Pirates coach – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Micho Sredojevic

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 13:00

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic says his side is not scoring enough, following their 1-1 draw at home to Platinum Stars on Wednesday evening.

The Buccaneers have now gone three league matches without a win – and scored just seven goals in eight games – after they were held by bottom-of-the-log Stars at FNB Stadium.

It was not the ideal preparation for this weekend’s eagerly-anticipated Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs, which will be played at the same venue on Saturday afternoon.

“I really don’t know whether we’ve been in Saturday’s game. We were told that this match was supposed to be a bridge for Saturday,” Micho told SuperSport TV cameras.

“I’m happy with the way we’ve been patient with possession but not scoring enough, creating enough but not scoring enough.

Football has shown us a very cruel aspect when you score the goal, instead of the next two, three minutes you are not conceding. Emotionally, we have not been settled, we conceded immediately.

“We tried after to create [chances], it was not easy. The opponents were sitting back and defending. We have tried with patience to reach towards the goal but we did not succeed.

“Unfortunately, [it was] one of those days where you regret that domination has not been the difference.”

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Matlaba scores, but Pirates stutter at home – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Thabo Matlaba of Orlando Pirates challenged by Raymond Monama of Platinum Stars during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Orlando Pirates and Platinum Stars at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on 18 October 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Oct 18, 2017. 21:43

Despite scoring through skipper Thabo Matlaba, Orlando Pirates could not secure the full three points in the Absa Premiership as they drew 1-1 at the FNB Stadium against Platinum Stars on Wednesday night.

Coach Milutin Sredojevic’s team has 13 points on the log table from eight matches and are now sitting at position number three.

For the struggling Dikwena, striker Bonginkosi Ntuli netted a brilliant goal to ensure they got something out of the tie.

Following a spirited start by the visiting side, Pirates tried to force an error on Stars in the first eight minutes and goalkeeper Dino Visser cleared the ball from Mpho Makola’s path, whose attempt went straight to the keeper.

The Buccaneers regained the possession in the 14th minute and Thamsanqa Gabuza could not lower his well-struck effort right in the penalty area following a great cross from the left.

Both camps attacked towards the 20th minute and Dikwena’s Enocent Mkhabela attempted to test Wayne Sandilands from a distance, but the midfielder’s effort sailed wide in the 19th minute.

As Visser became the busiest of the two keepers towards the end of the opening half, fellow debutant Katlego Otladisa saw his effort going wide of Sandilands’ crossbar in injury time.

A minute into the second stanza, Matlaba took the matters into his own hands and beat his marker before rattling the roof of the net with a powerful left-footed shot.

Two minutes later, Ntuli made it 1-1 after shielding the ball from Abbubaker Mobara in the box from a through ball to slot it home beyond Sandiands.

Visser was called to produce a fine save to deny Qalinge from close range in the 52nd minute, with a finger-tip after a dangerous ball was whipped in from the right wing.

Before the hour mark, Milutin Sredojevic’s men received a set piece on the edge of the box and Makola’s curler hit the crossbar, with Visser beaten.

The Soweto giants looked threatening with 20 minutes to go as they probed for their second goal and Visser once again stood firm between the posts to deny Gabuza’s powerful header from the near post.

The last 10 minutes saw Roger De Sa’s charges showing some sense of urgency moving forward and Otladisa’s attempt was saved by Sandilands on his left corner.

In the wake of the result, Stars remain rooted at the bottom of the table with three points from eight league games.

Orlando Pirates (0) 1 (Matlaba 46′)

Platinum Stars (0) 1 (Ntuli 48′)

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Mobara, Mtshali, Nyauza, Maela, Matlaba, Nyatama (Kutumela 46′), Qalinge (Foster 83′), Lorch (Shonga 62′), Makola, Gabuza

Platinum Stars: Visser, De Jongh, Mwedihanga, Sithole, Zulu, Mere, Mkhabela, Ng’ambi (Mwila 80′), Monama (Sesinyi 51′), Otladisa, Ntuli (Msomi 77′)

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Orlando Pirates goalkeeper says he voted for Masuluke’s goal – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Jackson Mabokgwane of Orlando Pirates

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Oct 13, 2017. 14:30

Despite saying he will not vote for Baroka FC goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke’s goal, Orlando Pirates keeper Jackson Mabokgwane has set the record straight.

The former Mpumalanga Black Aces keeper was quoted by a local radio station as saying he will not vote for his counterpart because voting is for supporters.

Masuluke scored a spectacular bicycle-kick during their 2016/17 Absa Premiership match against the Soweto giants to make it 1-1 in Polokwane.


The goal has got the nod and is among the best three goals in the world nominated in the final three-man shortlist for the FIFA Puskas Award.

“I’m a football player I don’t go around voting‚ I only play football,” Mabokgwane told PowerFM. “Voting is for supporters‚ it’s for fans‚ people should vote for him if they like the goal.”

However, he took to his official Twitter account and set the record straight, saying he voted via the FIFA website.

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Pirates coach ‘Micho’ would love to win Champions League – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Micho Sredojevic

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 12, 2017. 15:30

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic would “give everything” to see the Soweto side win another CAF Champions League title.

The Buccaneers famously became the first South African side to win the continental prize in 1995, but they have been unable to repeat the feat since.

They came close in 2013 when they were beaten in the final by Egyptian giants Al Ahly, while in 2006 – during Sredojevic’s first spell in charge of the club – they got as far as the semifinals before losing out to Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien.

Micho, who has coached extensively across Africa, wants to see Pirates return to the Champions League and ultimately lift the trophy again.

“I would give everything, I would give my life to put one more star on the badge. Once we succeed in this, I would count myself as mission being fulfilled. I am a coach that has been in 50 African countries,” the Serbian told Kick-Off.

“Wherever a ball is kicked on this continent I know and I believe the power of knowing that could tremendously help Orlando Pirates to go to the Champions League and to compete and reach the point of winning the competition.”

Pirates will return to domestic action next midweek with an Absa Premiership match at home to Platinum Stars on Wednesday 18 October.

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Orlando Pirates sign Zambia starlet Justin Shonga – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Justin Shonga of Zambia ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 27, 2017. 15:00

Orlando Pirates have announced the signing of Zambian youth international striker Justin Shonga from Nkwazi United.

He will join his new teammates on Wednesday.

Although he was linked with a move to Mamelodi Sundowns, the Buccaneers have seemingly beaten the Brazilians on landing the Junior Chipolopolo’s signature.

Pirates have also announced that Shonga will don the number 27 jersey under coach Milutin Sredojevic as he starts his journey in the South African Premiership.

“I am happy to be here. This is the right move for my career and my ambitions. I would like to emulate other Zambian players who have done well at the Club such as Perry Mutapa and Isaac Chansa,” said Shonga on the club’s website.

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Orlando Pirates unveils Ford SA as new sponsor – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Lyle Foster of Orlando Pirates during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City at Soccer City, Johannesburg on 19 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 27, 2017. 10:30

Orlando Pirates have announced a new sponsorship deal with auto manufacturing giant, Ford South Africa on Tuesday, September 26.

The Soweto giants announced the deal on their Twitter page as they welcomed the vehicle giant to their stable at an event at the Orlando Stadium.

Coach Milutin Sredojevic’s men have started the 2017/18 Absa Premiership campaign on a high as they have only registered one loss in six matches.

They occupy the third spot with 12 points from three matches and two draws so far, their next match is against Polokwane City at home on Saturday.

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Sangweni to return next month – Pirates coach ‘Micho’ – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Orlando Pirates

Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Thamsanqa Sangweni of Orlando Pirates during the Orlando Pirates Training on the 17 August 2017 at Rand Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Sep 26, 2017. 19:00

Orlando Pirates player Thamsanqa Sangweni is set to return from injury next month, according to coach Milutin Sredojevic.

The midfielder sustained an injury against his former team Chippa United at the end of August and has been sidelined ever since.

However, the 28-year-old has returned to training and while he will still miss this weekend’s clash with Polokwane City, he should be back for the match against Platinum Stars on October 18.

“He was injured. He is now back at training and working on his fitness,” said Sredojevic, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“He should be ready after the international week,” added the Serbian.

Pirates suffered their first loss under ‘Micho’ when they were beaten 1-0 by Bidvest Wits this past weekend.

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Wits beat Pirates to claim first league win – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Gerald Phiri of Bidvest Wits (r) celebrates goal during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 23 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Sep 23, 2017. 21:14

Orlando Pirates suffered their first 2017/18 Absa premiership defeat when they lost 1-0 to Bidvest Wits on Saturday evening at Bidvest Stadium.

The loss for the Buccaneers means they now occupy the third spot on the log table with 11 points from six games.

However for the hosts, Gerald Phiri Junior scored to ensure the reigning league champions claimed their first win in this season’s campaign.

As early as the fifth minute, Phiri Junior converted with a powerful shot in the box after Pirates defence failed to clear a diagonal ball from the right wing.

Both giants had a bright start and three minutes later, Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs was saved by his cross bar after Thabo Qalinge rattled the woodwork.

In the 12th minute, the hosts protested for a penalty after Happy Jele fouled Amr Gamal in the box, but their call fell on referee Luthando Ndzandzeka’s deaf ears.

With 15 minutes to go the interval, coach Gavin Hunt’s men pushed forward and Reeve Frosler cut inside and smashed a left-footed effort, but it went wide off the upright.

At half time, it was the reigning league champions who went to the tunnel enjoying the lead.

Upon their return, Thabo Matlaba nearly found an equaliser after a brilliant pass from Thamsanqa Gabuza and the left-footed player saw his well-struck shot fantastically saved by Josephs.

Sredojevic introduced Mpho Makol towards the 60th minute and they upped their attacking prowess, but Matlaba missed after a great set up by the former.

Despite enjoying the ball possession, Pirates continued to fire blanks in front of goal as the Clever Boys managed to claim their first win in the league.

In the wake of the victory, Wits now sit at number 13 on the log standings with five points from six matches.

Bidvest Wits: (1) 1 (Phiri 5′)

Orlando Pirates: (0)

Bidvest Wits: Josephs, Khumalo, Ntshangase, Hlanti, Phiri Jnr (Rodgers 69′), Keene (Scott 66′), Damjanovic, Motshwari, Monare, Frosler, Gamal (Klate 79′)

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Maela, Nyauza, Matlaba, Dube, Jele, Nyatama, Lorch (Makola 57′), Qalinge (Morrison 71′) , Foster (Kutumela 52′), Gabuza

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Struggling Wits welcome in-form Pirates

Thamsanqa Gabuza of Orlando Pirates challenged by Thulani Hlatshwayo of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 04 May 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Friday Sep 22, 2017. 10:30

Bidvest Wits will look to kick-start their Absa Premiership campaign when they host Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium on 23 September 2017, kick-off at 18h00.

Wits have gone five league matches without a win this season (the worst start to a title defence in PSL history) and suffered their heaviest loss of the campaign thus far when they were thrashed 3-0 at AmaZulu in midweek.

The Clever Boys and coach Gavin Hunt will need to sort out their leaky defence if they are to have any chance of turning around their form: Wits have conceded 10 goals so far this season – the worst record in the top flight.

Orlando Pirates retained their unbeaten start to the season when they edged Cape Town City 1-0 at the FNB Stadium on September 19. Thabo Qalinge scored the only goal of the game as the Buccaneers won a third successive home match by a lone goal.

Milutin Sredojevic’s side have yet to win away, however, as their two trips on the road have resulted in draws at Baroka FC (1-1) and Maritzburg United (0-0). The Buccaneers will want to claim that first victory away from home and it would be especially sweet if it arrived at the expense of the reigning champions.

In head-to-head stats, Wits and Pirates have met in 63 league matches since 1985. The Buccaneers have claimed 25 wins to the Clever Boys’ 17, while 21 matches have been drawn. The University-based side has claimed 10 wins and suffered 11 defeats from 32 turns as hosts in this rivalry.

Last season Wits claimed a league ‘double’ over Pirates: a brace from Frank Mhango took them to a 2-1 victory in Soweto in the first half of the campaign, while the return game in Milpark saw the Clever Boys win through a strike from Cuthbert Malajila. Wits have won their last five successive league games against Pirates.

Wits’ line-up from their 3-0 loss to AmaZulu on September 20: Josephs, Hlatshwayo, Khumalo, Hlanti, Scott, Motshwari, Ntshangase, Pule (Kodisang 66′), Claasen (Mhango 46′), Pienaar (Klate 46′), Gamal.

Pirates’ line-up from their 1-0 win over City on September 19: Sandilands, Jele, Nyauza, Maela, Dube, Matlaba, Nyatama, Qalinge, Makola (Kutumela 59′), Lorch (Memela 75′), Morrison (Foster 51′).

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