Pirates or Sundowns – Who has more MTN8 titles?

Pirates or Sundowns – Who has more MTN8 titles?
Credit: Icon Sport

Ahead of the 2023/24 season MTN8 final between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday, let's have a look at which of the finalists has won more of the MTN8 title.

But first, this final marks the first piece of silverware in the 2023/24 season, as such, the game will be highly contested with a title up for grabs.

It's important to point out that the current champions are Orlando Pirates, and they are on course to defend their title.

The finals of this competition have occasionally been contested by the three heavyweight teams of South African football: Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

Jose Riveiro speaking ahead of Pirates' MTN8 game
Credit: Icon Sport

The Sea Robbers edged out Stellenbosch over two legs in the semifinals to make the finals, whereas Masandawana knocked out Kaizer Chiefs 3-2 on aggregate to advance to the finals.

Orlando Pirates vs Mamelodi Sundowns: Who has more MTN8 titles?

Since the MTN8 competition began in 1972, Orlando Pirates have won it 11 times having played 17 finals. On the other hand, Mamelodi Sundowns have achieved this title on four occasions having appeared in 10 finals. So, between both teams, Pirates have won it more than Sundowns with a staggering seven titles difference.

Pirates vs Sundowns: Some exciting facts about the 2023 MTN8 final

Only the second time

It is quite surprising that these two giants of South African football will be meeting in the final of the MTN8 competition since it was first played in 1972 for just the second time. The only other clash in the finals came in 2007 when a Brent Carelse goal handed Sundowns a 1-0 win at Loftus Versfeld.

Tied on head-to-head

These teams have met in 13 matches in the competition overall, 10 at the semifinal stage and a further two clashes at the quarterfinals and one final. The record in those 13 games is however the same for both teams with four wins apiece to go with five draws.

Their most recent meeting in the MTN8 cup came at the semifinal stage last season as they drew the first leg 0-0, before Pirates thumped Sundowns 3-0 in the return leg before going on to beat AmaZulu 1-0 in the final to lift the trophy.

Sundowns ahead in recent overall meetings

These two teams have already met in the DStv Premiership this campaign. Sundowns claimed a 1-0 away win on September 20 as Lucas Ribeiro slotted a penalty after 12 minutes. Rhulani's men as a matter of fact won the last three competitive meetings between them, scoring four goals and conceding none. The last time Pirates scored Masandawana was in the MTN8 3-0 semis win in 2022 where Monnapule Saleng played a key role.

Sundowns poor final record in the MTN8

It will interest you to know that The Brazilians have been to the MTN8 final three times since 2008, winning only one of those. They lost to Kaizer Chiefs on penalties 15 years ago, before a 3-0 loss to BidVest Wits in 2006. They then beat Cape Town City in a penalty shoot-out to lift the trophy in 2021 after the teams had finished at 1-1. Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango remarkably saved five Cape Town City penalties in the shoot-out that followed.

Rhulani press conference ahead of an MTN8 game
Credit: Icon Sport

Overall, Sundowns have been to 10 finals in the competition and won four. Their victories have come against Arcadia Shepherds (1988), Wits University (1990), Pirates (2007) and Cape Town City (2021). But they have also had defeats to Chiefs (1992, 1994, 2001, 2008), Santos (2002) and Wits (2016).

Pirates final record in the MTN8

The Buccaneers have reigned supreme in two of the last three finals, losing the 2013 and 2014 editions as well. They have been to seven finals since 2008, heads and heels more than any other side. The next highest are Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United, all with four final appearances. Pirates have won four of those previous six, which is also a record since 2008. In all they have 11 MTN8 titles from 17 finals.

Monnapule Saleng is a threat

Saleng had a memorable 2022 MTN8 campaign and was deservedly named the Last Man Standing at the 2022/23 end of season PSL awards. He netted three goals, including the winner in the final against AmaZulu and played a key role in the club's title win. Also, the winger found the back of the net in the 5-0 quarterfinal win over Sekhukhune United this season to bring his goal tally to four in his last six appearances in this competition. He's a threat Sundowns should watch out for.

Sundowns have a good streak in the MTN8

Rhulani Mokwena's side have only lost one of their last 10 games in the MTN8, which was their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Pirates in the second leg of their 2022 semifinal. Apart from that, they have been hard to beat, recording wins over Golden Arrows, SuperSport United, Moroka Swallows and Chiefs, to go with draws against Chiefs (twice), Cape Town City, Golden Arrows and Pirates.

This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago

Joseph is a freelance writer who spends most of his time writing engaging football contents. Based in Nigeria, Joseph is a die-hard Real Madrid fan with over 8 years experience in the sports betting space. He has covered football match previews, predictions, and news across leagues in Africa and Europe.