Orlando Pirates midfielder Luvuyo Memela says he wanted to emulate club legend Jerry Sikhosana by scoring a hat-trick in the Soweto Derby.
The diminutive winger, who scored a brace, inspired the Buccaneers to a 3-1 win over their fierce rivals Kaizer Chiefs in a PSL match which was played at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Sikhosana remains the last player to score a hat-trick in the Soweto Derby. The retired marksman got three goals in Pirates’ 4-1 win over Chiefs in a Bob Save Supa Bowl Cup match in November 1996.
Memela was hoping to become the first player to score a hat-trick in a Soweto Derby league game.
“I wanted to score a hat-trick because it has not been done in the league before. The legend Jerry Sikhosana did it in the Cup and it would have been nice to join him and maybe other legends from before who scored three goals," Memela told the media.
The 30-year-old player, who hails from the Western Cape Province, was introduced prior to the start of the second half with two teams locked at 1-1 and he scored twice to hand Bucs the victory.
“When we train and score goals at Rand (Stadium), the coaches celebrate them like they do in matches. More especially when a move works out the way we have planned it," he continued.
The Buccaneers are placed second on the league standings with 39 points from 23 games. They are four points behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns with seven games left.
“We have to stay grounded though because while we are happy we won the game, it’s important to keep focused on the next game," he said.
“Everyone is fighting in this team, the spirit is high. We respect each other and nobody thinks they are better than the next guy. We have to maintain that so we can keep going forward," Memela added.
“We will only know where we are after the 30th match of the season. We are happy withbwhere we are currently but we know we have a long way to go before we are a final product," he explained.
"And with due respect to the opposition, when we get to our level, we are leaving them behind," he concluded.
Pirates' next competitive game is against Cape Town City in the Nedbank Cup Last 16 match in the Mother City on Wednesday, 14 March 2018.