COMMENT: Can Orlando Pirates pin their hopes on Golden Arrows to derail Sundowns?

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The odds are perhaps stacked against Bucs as they now have to rely on Abafana Bes'thende to give them hope in the title race

Orlando Pirates’ players and management cut dejected figures as Craig Martin’s goal saw them play out to a 2-2 draw in Cape Town on Saturday.

While Mamelodi Sundowns also suffered a setback of their own in the Caf Champions League at the hands of Wydad Casablanca, the result was certainly felt at the full-time whistle at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

The result in Cape Town would have been enough to wash off some of Sundowns' sorrows that were felt.

Nonetheless, Sundowns are now perhaps in an advantageous position as they have a game in hand and should they overcome Golden Arrows on Tuesday, they would put the Tshwane giants in a position to retain their title.

Mamelodi Sundowns, Emiliano Tade, February 2019

On the other hand, Pirates will be watching Tuesday night’s clash with a keen eye, hoping that Steve Komphela’s men will upset Sundowns and keep the hopes alive.

Is this blind optimism or do Arrows have what it takes to spoil the Sundowns party the same way the Citizens did to Pirates?

The rivalry between Komphela and Pitso Mosimane is filled with great respect and admiration.

The two masterminds have clashed 15 times in the past, but most notably, Komphela has won just two games with seven ending in favour of Mosimane while the other six ended in draws.

However, Komphela’s biggest success against Sundowns came as the coach of Kaizer Chiefs, which should worry the Pirates fans, who are desperate to see the 51-year-old pull off a major upset.

Steve Komphela's record vs. Mamelodi Sundowns

While football is not won on paper, history cannot be underestimated and unfortunately for Komphela, he does not have the same quality of players that he had at Chiefs, although he achieved little success during his three-year stint.

But Komphela is also capable of an upset as he has in the past also come out top against Sundowns with an unfancied team.

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Komphela previously beat Sundowns with both Free State Stars and Platinum Stars taking his overall tally to four wins over the 2016 African champions.

Meanwhile, since Mosimane took over as head coach of Masandawana in 2012, he boasts a rather phenomenal record against Abafana Bes'thende losing just three times across all competitions.

This makes Sundowns strong favourites, although Arrows will be hungry as they also need to propel themselves into the top eight which could be the motivation needed to pull off an upset and help Pirates stay in the title race.  

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