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Orlando Pirates motivated to go all the way - Riveiro warns champions Mamelodi Sundowns after MTN8 draw

4:19 PM MYT 30/08/2022
Jose Riveiro, Orlando Pirates, August 2022
The former Inter Turku mentor is anticipating two tightly contested matches against the Tshwane giants in the cup competition

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has made their intentions clear after being drawn against Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8 semi-finals on Monday night.

The two Gauteng giants will meet in the two-legged semi-finals in October 2022 in a battle between two teams that won the last two editions of the Top 8 tournament. 

Pirates lifted the MTN8 trophy in 2020 before Sundowns clinched it last year and Riveiro expects matches between the two teams to be enthralling. 

"What can I say, it will be an interesting duel. I think it will be a minimum period of a month between the [two] games," Riveiro told the club's media department. 

"So, it is difficult to estimate how the teams will be like in those moments. The moments of fitness and confidence and stuff. 

"But basically, I think it will be attractive matches for the fans, plenty of emotions with two good teams on the pitch full of quality players on both sides."

The 46-year-old tactician, who masterminded a 2-1 win against Royal AM in a quarter-final match over the weekend, believes their tie will be decided in the second-leg clash which is set to be played away to Sundowns.

"Probably it will be decided in the second game, so my prediction is that it will be very equal games and hopefully plenty of goals and emotions until the end. 

"We are very motivated to go all the way in this competition and of course, once you are in the semi-finals you should not expect an easy opponent and we got a very good one. 

"We will be ready to be at a good level at that time."

Pirates will be looking to consolidate their spot at the top of the Premier Soccer League standings when they face Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday.