Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
4 minute read
15 Apr 2021
12:34 pm

Mamelodi Sundowns vs Orlando Pirates: Most memorable encounters

Ntokozo Gumede

We take a lot at the thrilling and most memorable encounters between the Soweto giants and the Brazilians.

Andile Jali of Mamelodi Sundowns challenges Thembinkosi Lorch of Orlando Pirates. Sundowns and Pirates are set to meet in a Nedbank Cup semifinal clash on Thursday evening (Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

The last match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns was rather painful to watch as both teams applied a cagey approach, playing cautiously throughout the 90 minutes at Loftus Versfeld.

The last match between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns was rather painful to watch as both teams applied a cagey approach, playing cautiously throughout the 90 minutes at Loftus Versfeld.

ALSO READ: Players who can make a difference for Sundowns against Bucs

Sundowns were victorious on the day, beating the Buccaneers by a goal to nil, thanks to a goal made in the heart of Masandawana’s defence as Ricardo Nascimento provided the assist to Brian Onyango.

The rivals lock horns again this evening in Pretoria where they will battle it out for a spot in the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup.

We take a lot at the thrilling and most memorable encounters between the Soweto giants and the Brazilians:

Move your bus from my gate (2017)

The build-up to this match was intense, it had all the pre-match trash-talking you’d expect from rivals. Emotions were running high and the gloves were off even before the players could gear up for their warm-up sessions.

Pirates were the first to arrive at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium and they parked their team bus on the driveway, subsequently preventing entry to Masandawana’s yellow wagon. Normally, Sundowns park their bus close to the gate as the entrance to the stadium is within a few metres. They allow the visitors to park directly opposite them, which is also closer to the gate.

Then Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane was not happy at all and he angrily confronted Pirates, saying “you can’t come to my house and park in front of my gate”. However, the action on the pitch was less entertaining as the sides drew 0-0.

ALSO READ: Five Pirates players to watch against Sundowns

Sundowns fan attacks Pirates bench (2018)

It seems a lot of these incidents always happens at Sundowns’ strong hold, Loftus Versfeld, hold as on November 10, 2018, a Masandawana faithful surprisingly bypassed the security personnel from the stands, jumping the fence between the stands and the pitch to make his way to the Pirates bench without being detected.

He went straight to then Pirates assistant coach Rulani Mokwena, who at the time had rubbed Pitso Mosimane up the wrong way as reports suggested that Mokwena said he was the one coaching Downs while he was an assistant at the club.

The fan instigated what was an inevitable confrontation between the two benches, causing all manner of commotion on the touchline. A few punches were probably landed but in the end, everyone smoked the piece pipe as Mokwena later returned to Sundowns as Mosimane’s assistant.

The Hlompho Kekana show (2017)

You could look at this one both ways. It was either the brilliance of Hlompho Kekana or the shambles of Wayne Sandilands that made the difference on the day. Kekana scored the opener in a January 2017 league tie in Orlando, taking advantage of a careless pass by Sandilands in the second minute.

11 minutes later, the Sundowns skipper did what he does best and that is to line-up a shot from miles away, strike it with pin-point accuracy and power. He caught Sandilands off his line and he did not hesitate to unleash what is today known as a “Kekana”. Bafana Ba Style went on to win the match 3-1 as Anthony Laffor scored the third for Downs and Marc van Heerden scored the consolation for the hosts.

Sweet revenge (2018)

It was round 17 of the then Absa Premiership, in a season where Pirates challenged Sundowns for league honours, finishing five points behind  the eventual champions, Sundowns. This was the first time in four years that the Sea Robbers gave Downs a beating in their backyard as they won 3-1. The match took place at Loftus Versfeld in January 2018.

Downs had humiliated Pirates with the same score-line in Orlando Stadium and it was Pirates’ turn to mop the floor with the Brazilians. Coached by Milutin Sredojević at that time, Pirates scored an early goal in the second minute through Ntsikelelo Nyauza and extended their lead courtesy of Mpho Makola. Percy Tau instigated a fight back with a strike in the 38th minute but Luvuyo Memela made sure that Sundowns were left with their tails between their legs.

Who can forget about the crowd invasion in 2017 when Sundowns scored half-a-dozen of goals at Loftus Versfeld to no response from Pirates. The infamous Loftus Versfeld is the match venue again today, and who knows what drama it has in store in the latest episode of this rivalry? Let’s wait and see.