There are a number of reasons why Orlando Pirates are favourites for Saturday’s Telkom Knockout Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs in Durban‚ not least because of their vastly superior record of getting past this stage of cup competitions in the last decade.
Pirates have shown excellent efficiency in the semifinals of the MTN8‚ Telkom Knockout‚ Nedbank Cup and Caf club competitions in the last 10 years‚ while Chiefs have been disappointing by their own lofty standards.
It could be that big match temperament that makes the difference at Moses Mabhida Stadium‚ with Pirates increasingly able to lift themselves in big matches‚ while Chiefs continue to flounder.
Chiefs have won only 47 percent of their semifinals across all knockout fixtures since 2008‚ with seven wins from 15 appearances.
Amakhosi fans will point out that one of those was a penalty shootout victory over Pirates in the semifinals of the Telkom Knockout in 2015.
But their last three semifinal appearances have all ended in defeat – a 1-0 loss to Bidvest Wits in the Telkom Knockout last season‚ the 2-0 reversal at the hands of Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup in May and the 3-2 aggregate defeat to SuperSport United in the MTN8 this season.
By contrast‚ Pirates have been strong with a 74 percent win ratio in semifinal matches in the last decade‚ including the Caf Champions League and Caf Confederation Cup.
Their problem has‚ perhaps‚ been winning finals‚ but in terms of getting to deciding matches they have no peer.
They have won 14 of their 19 semifinal ties over that period‚ though they have just a 50 percent record in the Telkom Knockout with four wins from eight games.
Pirates have won all four of their Nedbank Cup semifinals over that time and four out of five MTN8 semifinals.
KAIZER CHIEFS WINS IN SEMIFINALS SINCE 2008
Telkom Knockout: 3/5
Nedbank Cup: 1/3
ORLANDO PIRATES WINS IN SEMIFINALS SINCE 2008
Telkom Knockout: 4/8
Nedbank Cup: 4/4
CAF Competitions: 2/2