If there’s one thing you can be guaranteed about modern day Orlando Pirates, it would be that they are very hard to beat at home.
With or without fans in attendance, the Buccaneers have built themselves a fortress at Orlando Stadium, and are unbeaten there since August 2018.
If the league title were decided by home points alone, Pirates would have been champions in two of the last three seasons. The 2-0 win against Maritzburg over the weekend was the Buccaneers’ 10th win of the season, and helped them climb up to 4th on the table.
23 – Pirates have won more points at home this season than any other DSTV Premiership side (23).
Home record in the league
The win extended their overall unbeaten home run to 15 games in the league, since losing to Chiefs last year, their last home league defeat. The Bucs faithful are always quick to point out that it was at FNB stadium. We’ll get to that later.
51 – Pirates have now played 51 matches at home in the league since November 2017, and lost just twice – v Wits in August 2018 and the Chiefs game played at the FNB Stadium.
The other 49 games read Won 28 Drew 21.
While the 51 game streak is an incredible feat, it is slightly tainted by the number of draws. If Pirates had converted the five games they’ve drawn at home in this campaign, they’d be top of the table, two points above Sundowns.
Home record in all competitions
However, their most recent home results points to a team that has rectified that problem, and their unbeaten record across all competitions has been built on wins. In fact, the win over Maritzburg brought up a PSL era record for the club.
8 – Pirates’ 2-0 win over Maritzburg was their eighth consecutive home victory (starting with the January 30 win against Chiefs) – the club’s longest winning run on home soil across all competitions in their PSL history.
It means Pirates are now unbeaten in 22 home matches (W15 D7, since the Chiefs defeat across all competitions) – also the longest unbeaten home run across all competitions for the club in the PSL era. It should be noted that the 22-game record includes a walkover (v Sagrada), and four ‘home’ matches in the bio-bubble.
They can extend that run to 23 on Wednesday when they host ES Setif in a CAF tie.
But Jabu, we only want Orlando Stadium stats?
The 22 game unbeaten run becomes 33 unbeaten in all comps when you consider matches only played at Orlando Stadium (W21 D12).
Most of our stats consider just Home & Away fixtures (instead of particular venues), because it gets more complicated when you specify venues. One question to ponder: if Pirates had won the match against Chiefs at FNB stadium, would you want to remove that result from the home records as well?
That is not to say the Orlando Stadium record is not impressive.
1000 days unbeaten at Orlando Stadium…but Sundowns?
Pirates are 22 days away from completing 1000 days without losing at Orlando Stadium in the league, and could reach that landmark on 11 May 2021. There are two home matches in which they must avoid defeat between now and the 1000-day mark, but the first of those matches is against league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns on 2 May.
12 – Sundowns have beaten Pirates 12 times at home in the PSL era, twice more than the nearest best side (Wits, Supersport and Chiefs on 6).
Vincent Pule nears Top 10.
It was also a great evening individually for Vincent Pule, who came off the bench to score two goals that secured the win. Pule has now scored more goals against Maritzburg than any other opponent he has faced in his career (4, all comps). The brace also moved him up the Pirates all-time scoring charts, joining Gabadinho Mhango, Kermit Erasmus, Lucky Lekgwathi and Tendai Ndoro on 17 league goals for the club.
1 – Pule needs one more league goal to join the Top 10 club of Orlando Pirates goal scorers in the PSL era.
By Opta Jabu