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Orlando Pirates’ efficiency & discipline delights Riveiro after Mamelodi Sundowns MTN thrashing

11:47 PM IST 22/10/22
Jose Riveiro, Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has credited an early goal and discipline for his side’s 3-0 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8 semifinal.
  • Pirates coach impressed by his side’s quick start
  • Riveiro lauds his side’s ability to withstand pressure
  • Tactician keen to see more of that going forward

WHAT HAPPENED? Kermit Erasmus secured an eighth-minute lead for Pirates before a late brace from Mannapule Saleng secured a place in the final for the Buccaneers following a goalless draw in the first leg earlier this month. Although Sundowns dominated the ball possession, it was the efficiency in front of goal and the ability to hold onto their lead that delighted Riveiro at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

WHAT DID RIVEIRO SAY? “We were looking for our chance to play our first final together,” Riveiro told SuperSport TV after the game.

“It is the first time we play this type of game, this exciting knockout game but there are many things that we could do even better in the second half but its outstanding performance from the guys today.”

“We do the same things in every game but today our accuracy in front of goal was super, that is why we’re talking about 3-0. It is a big result so this is the way. We know where we want to go and we just have to continue.

“Very disciplined, that is the way. Nowadays in football, if you really want to compete in every scenario, you need to be complete in the things that you cannot handle.

“Today we were facing an excellent opponent, and you need a goal very early in the game so it is normal. They have the capacity to subdue the opponent so we needed to improve and get more time on the ball.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Sundowns had 58 percent possession with 12 goal attempts, of which seven were on target, Pirates only managed three attempts which yielded the goals.

The Soweto giants needed a quick start to have any chance against the defending champions and it arrived in less than 10 minutes when Saleng crossed for Erasmus to head in from point-blank range.

As Masandawana pushed more bodies forward in search of the equaliser, the visitors took advantage with Saleng scoring twice inside the final 10 minutes against the run of play.

Aubrey Modiba then compounded Sundowns’ misery when he received a second yellow card for an off-the-ball incident but the damage was already done and the Brazilians will now have to focus on the league, Caf Champions League and Telkom Knockout this season.

WHAT NEXT FOR PIRATES? The Buccaneers will know their final opponents on Sunday when Kaizer Chiefs visit AmaZulu for the second with the game tied 1-1. Saturday’s victory was good preparation for Riveiro’s side ahead of Saturday’s Soweto derby when they will host Amakhosi.