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Orlando Pirates’ inability to score in the second-half puzzles under-pressure Riveiro

19:42 GMT+4 08/01/2023
Jose Riveiro Orlando Pirates.
Coach Jose Riveiro is at a loss to explain why Orlando Pirates cannot score after half-time in PSL matches.
  • Pirates struggle to get vital goals
  • Riveiro at a loss to explain struggle
  • Losing streak stretches to three games

WHAT HAPPENED? Pirates slumped to yet another league loss when they were outwitted by Cape Town City on Saturday. The 2-1 loss followed a 2-0 defeat the Soweto giants had conceded against Mamelodi Sundowns.

With Pirates’ lacking the sharpness required in front of the goal, Riveiro was at a loss to explain why they are not getting goals, especially in the second half.

The only time this season that Pirates scored in the second half was during their MTN8 Cup semi-final game against Mamelodi Sundowns when Monnapule Saleng registered a late brace.

They are yet to do so in the league.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "There's no explanation for that [why Pirates have not scored in the second half]," Riveiro told SuperSport TV.

"If you want to go deep with the analysis, then we have to speak about the chances we create and not the number of goals we scored.

"To score a goal is a complicated thing, and I think we did enough to capitalise on our play, it wasn't possible against a good team [Cape Town City] in a difficult scenario, but we competed very well.

"It's been a tough beginning of the season after the break for us; it's the second defeat in a row. We have to bounce back because that's what the big teams have the capacity to do, and we're not going to be an exception"

AND WHAT IS MORE: Riveiro also explained what went wrong for them in their first match of the year.

"It was under control from the first minute, and it is difficult to explain that we went to half-time 1-1, but it is football, so it is the same story," he added.

"We need to do better because we are not in a situation where we can give points for free.

"In that game, they were better than us, and in the second half, we deserved at least to capitalize on one of our chances.

"The game is about scoring, and they were better than us in that sense."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pirates’ losing streak has now gone to three games in the league, which means they are losing more ground in the PSL title race and adding more pressure on Riveiro.

The defeat meant the Sea Robbers dropped to the seventh position with a whopping 18 points separating them from leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

As wins and – perhaps goals – keep eluding them, Riveiro needs to come up with an urgent season-saving formula for the MTN8 Cup winners.

WHAT NEXT FOR PIRATES? They will be up against Golden Arrows on January 14.