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HomeSouth African SoccerA reminder of their 11 MTN8 victories

A reminder of their 11 MTN8 victories

Orlando Pirates won the very first Top Eight Cup back in 1972 and have gone onto take a further 10 titles, including last season, which means they will be defending their title when they take on Mamelodi Sundowns in Saturday, 7 October’s MTN8 final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

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As reported by The South African website, Orlando Pirates’ tally of 11 trophy success is bettered only by Kaizer Chiefs, who have 15, but last won the MTN8 in 2014.

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According to the MTN FC website, the Buccaneers have won more Top Eight titles in the Premier Soccer League era, a total of five from 1997 onwards.

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Here is a look at Orlando Pirates’ winning finals:

1972: Elias Mokopane scored the winner as Pirates edged Chiefs 3-2 in the final, right at the start of the rivalry between the two clubs that has since built into a national institution. The first tournament had only four competitors, with a one-off final at Orlando Stadium. Pirates’ other goalscorers were Herbert Leroke and a penalty from David Fakude, while Chiefs’ scorers were Herman Blaschke and Johnny Mokoena.

1974: All the goals came late in the first leg of the final at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth but Moroka Swallows left with a 3-1 aggregate lead for the return in Soweto. There, Pirates were 3-1 up at full-time to level matters on aggregate. All hell broke loose in extra time as Pirates netted three more while Edward Mabaso, Daniel Mophosho scored for the Birds. Pirates won the game 6-3 and edged the title 7-6 on aggregate.

1978: The final was against Benoni United and the Rabbits proved a tougher opponent than expected as they bid for their first trophy in a rare final appearance. Pirates scored a narrow 5-4 aggregate triumph despite Meshack ‘Mr. Executive’ Mjanqeka netting a hattrick for Benoni in the second leg.

1983: Pirates were up against Highlands Park in the two-legged decider and the first clash of the giants at King’s Park in Durban ended goalless. But the return leg at Orlando Stadium saw the Buccaneers gain the advantage with Kagiso Mogale netting in the first half and then Henry ‘Mtofi’ Khumalo adding a second after the break to make sure of a tough triumph.

1993: Marks Maponyane was left out of the Pirates’ line-up after a controversy over the number of bookings he had collected, but Pirates were still too strong for Witbank Aces, extracting revenge for their loss in the 1980 final. Johannes Shili handed Aces the lead in the pouring rain, but Nick Seshweni, Albert ‘Bashin’ Mahlangu and Congolese import Djento Kambala took Bucs to a 3-1 victory.

1996: The last competition in the old National Soccer League before its re-branding as the Premier Soccer League, with the final against QwaQwa Stars in Durban ending in a 1-1 draw as Jerry Sikhosana scored for Orlando Pirates and Daniel Sekhoto replied before half-time for the side from Phuthaditjhaba. The replay in Bloemfontein was a 3-0 win for Bucs with Sikhosana again scoring along with Andries Sebola and Helman Mkhalele.

2000: Pirates successfully defended the title after the Top Eight had not been played for four years before being restored to the calendar. Pollen Ndlanya opened the scoring after 57 minutes at Soccer City but Shaun Permall equalised two minutes from time to force the game into extra time. With 12 minutes left, referee Petros Mathabela handed a penalty to Pirates that Thabo Mngomeni tucked away to take the trophy.

2010: The first final played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, just month after the completion of the World Cup, was settled on post-match penalties with Pirates again leading for most of the match before giving up a late equaliser. Moroka Swallows’ equalised in the 86th minute after Daine Klate had netted an early penalty. Pirates took the trophy 4-2 on penalties as they converted all their kicks while Siyabonga Nomvete missed, and then Moeneeb Josephs saved from Brian Mashishi.

2011: Kaizer Chiefs barely troubled Pirates’ goalkeeper Josephs through two hours of football at Soccer City as the Buccaneers successfully defended their MTN8 title. New signing Benni McCarthy was suspended for the game which was goalless when it went into extra time. Oupa Manyisa then delivered the trophy with a screaming long-range shot in the 107th minute and a first success for new coach Julio Cesar Leal.

2020: Bloemfontein Celtic opened the scoring in Durban as early as the third minute through Siphelele Luthuli only for Deon Hotto to equalise for the Buccaneers in the 32nd minute. Disaster struck for Celtic in the 58th minute when defender Thato Lingwati was red-carded. First-half substitute Thembinkosi Lorch stepped up to convert the resultant penalty, giving Pirates a lead they did not relinquish.

2022: It was a free kick worthy of winning any final as Pirates beat AmaZulu courtesy of a stunning strike from Monnapule Saleng at Moses Mabhida Stadium. The goal came halfway through the first half when Saleng’s left foot found the back of the net with a free-kick from a tight angle.

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