5/7/2024 12:00:00 AM

Pirates have edge in past Nedbank Cup clashes with Sundowns

PIC: Peter Shalulile

South African heavyweight clubs Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns will contest the 2024 Nedbank Cup final at the Mbombela Stadium on June 1, what will be a glittering occasion to bring the curtain down on the season.

It will be the first time they have clashed in the decider since the competition was first played in its current guise in 2008, in fact the first time that two of South Africa’s so-called ‘Big 3’, which also includes Kaizer Chiefs, have met in the Nedbank Cup final.

Given that both these teams have enj0yed tremendous success in the competition over the past 16 years, with Sundowns claiming four trophy wins and holders Pirates three, they have in fact never met past the quarterfinal stage.

In the five previous clashes, Pirates lead the head-to-head 3-2, and return to the scene of their final triumph in 2011 when they beat second-tier Black Leopards in Mbombela 3-1.

Here is a look back at past clashes between Pirates and Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup.  


That was a dramatic quarterfinal clash in which former Pirates stars Benedict Vilakazi and Lebo Mokoena both scored extra-time goals for Sundowns to see the Chloorkop side to victory. Pirates took the lead in the first half following an Isaac Chansa penalty, but the game turned on a 52nd minute red card for Buccaneers midfielder Joseph Kamwendo that swung the momentum in the favour of Pirates. Koketso Mmotong equalised with 12 minutes remaining to send the game to extra-time, and had a hand in his side’s second at the start of the additional 30 minutes when his shot rebounded off the post and was turned home by Mokoena. Vilakazi then sealed the win for Sundowns after Pirates were denied an equaliser when Gert Schalkwyk struck the crossbar.

2010/11 – LAST 32


A narrow win for Pirates handed to them by Tlou Segolela’s goal after 57 minutes against a Sundowns side that was seriously depleted by injuries and suspensions. Pirates had wasted the chance to go ahead before that when Katlego Mashego saw his penalty saved by Sundowns goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands following a handball in the box. It was an unlucky day for Mashego, he also hit the post twice in the first half as the ball would just no go in for him. Segolela did find the back of the net, though five minutes later Pirates were reduced to 10 men after a red card for Happy Jele.



Another win for Pirates as they edged a tight contest at Loftus Stadium having taken an early lead via an Oupa Manyisa penalty after Helder Pelembe was brought down in the box. The latter’s namesake Elias Pelembe equalised midway through the first half with a superb finish as he rifled the ball past Senzo Meyiwa in the Pirates goal. The latter was the hero for the home side as he kept them in the game with a strong of fine saves, before Daine Klate struck with a trademark free-kick that flew into the net from 30-yards.  




A tense quarterfinal that went to extra-time before 10-man Pirates came out victors thanks to goals from Tendai Ndoro and Mpho Makola. Brighton Mhlongo was a busy man in the Pirates goal as he kept his side in the contest, their chances not helped by a red card for Edwin Gyimah with 20 minutes left in ordinary time. Ndoro got the opener on 112 minutes when he ran onto a deep diagonal ball and produced a cool finish, before providing a second for Makola to make it 2-0 and seal the win.    



Sundowns ran out handsome winners with a 4-1 success in a pulsating tie that was closer than the scoreline suggests. The expert finishing of Peter Shalulile gave The Brazilians the lead, but Pirates levelled before the breakthrough striker Tshegofatso Mabasa. An excellent goal from Themba Zwane restored the advantage early in the second period, before Pirates threw everything they had at Sundowns. But just as they were pushing more players forward in search of the equaliser, they were hit by a third from Lesedi Kapinga, before Hlompho Kekana added a late fourth.

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