Orlando Pirates’ ‘nine-point week’ ends with Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro

FILE - Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/AFrican News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 4, 2024


Orlando Pirates’ coach Jose Riveiro believes it was important to start their nine-point week with a bang, as they’ve now fully set their sights on Cape Town Spurs.

The Sea Robbers ended their three-game winless streak in the DStv Premiership over the weekend, beating Polokwane City 1-0 at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium. That result strengthened their aspirations to finish second in the league.

Pirates are now fourth on the log with 29 points, only two behind the second-placed Cape Town City. Both teams have played 18 league games so far. The Bucs are now well placed to finish second having achieved that feat last term after picking up key points (35) at this stage of the season.

This week could boost those toptwo hopes as Pirates will face Spurs on Wednesday and arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday. Hence the importance of beating Rise and Shine.

“It was very important to win,” Riveiro said after the game.

“We are in a nine-point week between today (last Saturday) and the next Saturday. Obviously, we go game by game but we know that these are the crucial moments of the season where we cannot miss our chances.

“That’s important, especially if the teams above us are not getting the results. We must take the opportunities to reduce the gap or pass one of them.

“We’ll see what will happen at the end of the season. We must keep performing, trusting and getting three points from every game.”

Sure, Pirates did enough to secure the win against Polokwane, but Riveiro knows that they must do better up front. They created several scoring chances, with Karim Kimvuidi and Kabelo Dlamini hitting the post, but the 48-year-old Spaniard has been around the block long enough to know that goals scored – and not chances created – wins football matches.

“We are happy to create chances and entertain the people, and play on the opponents’ side as much as we can,” said Riveiro.

“Sometimes when we are more accurate, we can be more peaceful at the end of the day. But sometimes things can happen like they did today.

“Imagine if they scored? That was not going to reflect what happened on the field. This is a scoring game, not a chance created game.

“So, we need to make sure that we score enough. And today we got enough. It’s 1-0, and three points. So, we move!”

“The Ghost” already have their sights set on completing a league double over Amakhosi in the Soweto derby but Riveiro has moved swiftly to stress the importance of their midweek clash against the Urban Warriors, who’ll visit them at Orlando.

“They are playing for their lives,” Riveiro explained.

“They are playing to try and survive in the PSL (top flight). They beat us in Cape Town a few months ago and now they are coming to Orlando. We need to make sure that they are going to find a better version than that time.”


IOL Sport

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