Orlando Pirates grab Soweto Derby win to keep title hopes alive

Luvuyo Memela of Orlando Pirates Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Luvuyo Memela came off the bench and scored twice to ensure a 3-1 victory for Orlando Pirates in the Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday to keep alive their hopes of winning the PSL title while handing their opponents' hopes a potentially devastating dent.

Memela scored with his first touch just a matter of seconds after the start of the second half and added a second with some 15 minutes to go to take Pirates to within four points of the Premier Soccer League leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Chiefs remain eight points behind and, with seven games to go, look set to go a third successive season without a trophy.

Coach Steve Komphela is now back under severe threat of losing his job following another disappointing high-profile defeat.

Pirates took the lead in the 21st minute as Thembinkosi Lorch showed an outstanding touch to thread the ball past two defenders before finishing.

Chiefs had set up the chance with two poor clearances from their defence, hitting the ball straight at Lorch, who initially looked to have lost the opportunity with a heavy first touch, but then showed elegant skills to recover and score.

The lead lasted only eight minutes, though, as Chiefs equalised through their Colombian striker Leonardo Castro, who headed home from a corner.

Set pieces seemed to be the best hope for Amakhosi as Pirates flooded the midfield and took control in the second half.

Memela's first goal came after a surging run from Musa Nyatama, who was named man of the match, straight from kick off at the start of the second half.

His second came from a counter attack from defence, with the midfielder showing some quick feet to beat Itumeleng Khune.

As Chiefs pushed forward to try and salvage something in the closing stages, Pirates had chances on the counter. Their new Zambian striker Augustine Mulenga came close to adding further goals.

It was a first derby win for former Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic, who has turned around Pirates' fortunes after they finished in a disappointing ninth last season.

However, they still have some way to catch up to Sundowns, who won on Friday and look on course for a third title in the last five years.

Chiefs have now gone nine derbies without success with Komphela winless in the fixture.