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Jose’ Riveiro wants Orlando Pirates to ‘offer a good fight’ against Stellenbosch FC in MTN8 semi

Jose’ Riviero answers questions during a press conference

Jose’ Riveiro says he wants a fight from Orlando Pirates when they face Stellenbosch FC later today. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Sep 24, 2023


Orlando Pirates coach Jose’ Riveiro says they’ll fight tooth and nail to get back to winning ways following their two-game losing streak.

Pirates will host Stellenbosch FC in the MTN8 semi-final second leg at Orlando Stadium (3pm kick-off) today with an advantage, having won 2-1 in the reverse leg at the Athlone Stadium.

And while the Sea Robbers are favourites to sail to their third Cup final in a row, they’ll not leave any stone unturned.

Pirates are in desperate need of a win, having lost back-to-back matches against Jwaneng Galaxy and Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF Champions League and Dstv Premiership respectively.

Stellies have had their own problems of late – such as enduring three red cards in five winless games in a row – but Riveiro still doesn’t expect complacency from his team.

“We are coming from two (successive) losses, so if someone is relaxed, they are in the wrong place,” the 48-year-old coach said in the build-up to the match.

“It doesn’t matter who’s coming on Sunday. It’s about us more than ever. We need to turn the situation (around by ourselves in this game).”

While Pirates lost their sixth successive league match to Sundowns on Wednesday, they still had an impressive second half.

But that wasn’t enough as Lucas Ribeiro Costa’s first-half penalty secured all three points for the champions, who are going about their hunt for a seventh title in a row in style.

So, despite Pirates being 14 points behind the champions, with two games in hand, Riveiro says they can build from the positives.

“It’s about us more than ever. We need to show the same personality that we did in the second half on Wednesday (against Sundowns),” Riveiro said.

“We need to show that personality to say ‘Yes, things are difficult, but here we are’. And Sunday, it’s going to be the same: things are difficult, but here we are. We are going to offer a good fight.”

Pirates shouldn’t have too much trouble with offering a good fight this afternoon. Since Riveiro has taken the reins, they have yet to lose in Cup competitions, winning eight games and drawing just one.

And with today’s showdown important in their quest to turn the tide, they are expected to come out guns blazing and add more misery to the troubled Stellenbosch side at home.