Orlando Pirates face ‘curse of the home team’ in Soweto derby

02 March 2018 - 11:59
By Nick Said
General view of the FNB Stadium. File photo.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix General view of the FNB Stadium. File photo.

Usually home ground advantage is prized in the Absa Premiership‚ but not so when it comes to the Soweto Derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs‚ where there has not been a “home” win in six years.

It is one of the oddities of the fixture‚ though the fact that the match is played at FNB Stadium‚ the nominated ground of Chiefs‚ means they are essentially always at home.

And so it is the “curse” that Pirates will face when they occupy the home dressingroom on Saturday.

The last time that there was a home league win in the derby was in March 2012‚ when Benni McCarthy bagged a brace in a 3-2 success for the Buccaneers in what was a fantastic occasion.

Since then there have been 11 league derbies played‚ with two “away” wins for Chiefs‚ a single success for Pirates and eight matches drawn‚ including all of the last four.

In fact‚ in the last nine years‚ dating back to 2009‚ there have been just two home wins‚ one per side‚ in the league in this fixture‚ with no real explanation for the oddity.

Much of that also has to do with a lack of ambition shown by the teams down the years‚ as they choose to enter the game trying not to lose rather than going for the victory.

It has often made for a poor spectacle devoid of real attacking gusto and it is telling that the last 10 Soweto Derby matches have produced an average of just 1.3 goals per game – almost half the number of the Tshwane Derby (2.5) between Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United.

Last 11 Soweto Derby league matches:

Chiefs 0-0 Pirates
Chiefs 1-1 Pirates
Pirates 0-0 Chiefs
Pirates 1-1 Chiefs
Chiefs 1-3 Pirates
Chiefs 0-0 Pirates
Pirates 0-2 Chiefs
Pirates 0-1 Chiefs
Chiefs 1-1 Pirates
Chiefs 0-0 Pirates
Pirates 1-1 Chiefs