A friendly derby? No way says former Chiefs and Pirates stalwarts

Rowen Fernandez believes that his former club Kaizer Chiefs will have the beating of fierce rivals Orlando Pirates in tomorrow’s Soweto Derby. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Rowen Fernandez believes that his former club Kaizer Chiefs will have the beating of fierce rivals Orlando Pirates in tomorrow’s Soweto Derby. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Jul 26, 2019


The pre-season Carling Black Label Cup clash between arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates is nothing more than a friendly. But this is not what the fans feel about it – there is nothing friendly whenever the two Soweto giants meet, and the intensity of the debate ahead of the derby is unparalleled.

Minenhle Mkhize canvassed the views of two former stars of the country’s biggest clubs.

Rowen Fernandez (Kaizer Chiefs)

Everyone knows that the Soweto Derby is always a fantastic match. To try and pick the team that is going to win is always very difficult. I think it is going to be a high scoring draw and the game will be decided in a penalty shootout. From there we know that it is always anybody’s game.

You know I have links with both clubs and I therefore love them both. They have good strong squads and great depth. From the outside, it is clear that Chiefs have to win. They must win. Their fans are passionate about winning trophies which is something they haven’t done over the years. That is so unusual for Chiefs.

I am anticipating a very tough game. Yes, it is a ‘friendly’ but this is the derby and we all know that there is nothing friendly about matches between these giants of South African football.

The importance of this match cannot be underestimated as a win on Saturday will stand whoever gets it in good stead for the rest of the season.

They say winning is a habit, so it is very important that these two sides start with a win. It will be a huge confidence booster for whoever is going to win, ahead of what should a very competitive season. Lifting a trophy is always good, even if it is in a pre-season competition.

This is going to be a tight clash as usual and games like these are won via small mistakes. The team that will commit mistakes will be punished and that’s why you’ve got to be careful. It is a high pressure game, a half a chance can be the difference.

Edward Motale (Orlando Pirates)

If you look at last season and the way Pirates played, I believe they will win this game. Chiefs are still struggling and they are rebuilding with a technical team that is relatively new compared to Pirates. The new players are still trying to find their feet. Pirates will continue where they left off last season.

I also believe that the absence of Itumeleng Khune is a plus for Pirates. We all know that he is a pillar of strength at Chiefs. He is very influential when it comes to motivating his teammates. Khune is a commander at the back and his ability to turn defensive situations into attack with his great ball distribution. If I was the coach, I was going to have him on the bench to motivate his team-mates.

Thembinkosi Lorch has to give us 120 percent if not 150. As the (reigning) PSL Player of the Season a lot will be expected of him. He proved himself with the national team against Egypt after he had been overlooked in the initial matches. I have no doubt he will prove himself even more by playing a sterling role in the derby at the weekend.

What kind of match do I anticipate? Goals are a very scarce commodity. It is going to be a very intense game. It is going to be pretty tight, there will be just a goal in it, say 1-0 or 2-1 to Pirates. I would hate it if the match is drawn and decided on penalties.

You can’t talk about penalties from here to Durban but you can discuss the first goal from Gauteng to Harrismith. By the time you discuss the second goal you are in Durban. And that is why the two teams have to deliver on Saturday.

But I am in no doubt that Pirates will win.


The Mercury

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