In the most thrilling, high-octane game that the Soweto derby has produced in recent years, Orlando Pirates thrashed rivals Kaizer Chiefs by three goals to one in the biggest game in Africa.
More than 80,000 spectators from across South Africa made their way to FNB Stadium on Saturday, and the atmosphere could only be described as electrifying.
Fortunately for SA football and stadium management, the match was not marred by any incidents of counterfeit tickets or spectators getting injured – a relief after the July 2017 tragedy in which two fans died in a stampede during the Black Label Cup between the two archrivals
The action of the pitch was pulsating, with Luvuyo Memela (who scored two of Pirates' goals), and Thembinkosi Lorch (who put home the other one) taking the Orlando side to within four points of log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, with only seven rounds left to play before the end of the 2017/18 season.
The game definitely lived up to the hype – fans were treated to a football extravaganza that for once did not result in the perennial stalemate that this fixture seems to produce.
The derby win means that Sundowns and Pirates are now the frontrunners for the PSL championship, which could ultimately go down to the wire by the end of the season.
Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic said the 3-1 win was inspired by the movie "Black Panther" – which the squad watched as part of team building, after a week of intense training.
"We, as a sports brand, are represented in that historical African film [through the crossbones sign]," he said, "and it was a special injection of motivation to us to go and prove a point [against Chiefs]."
The game certainly brought smiles and tears to fans around South Africa in equal measure. Most SA football lovers, however, took to Twitter to proclaim the Soweto derby the best game in a decade, after an era of desultory classes between the two sides.
Nothing quite like the #SowetoDerby vibe. For the first time in years, I saw The Ghost outnumbering the Chiefs fans in terms of support and noise, and that was amazing to witness. The players and staff are fighting for you, Pirates fans. #OnceAlways #OrlandoPirates #AbsaPrem pic.twitter.com/LR0MU3As9L— Joseph Bertrand (@JoBertrand19) March 5, 2018
Malema: I support Pirates. Pirates is going to win. It's my birthday on Saturday and I asked the chairman that he must not disappoint me. #MalemaOnTouchHD— EFF (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 1, 2018