Orlando Pirates mentor Jose Riveiro will not be drawn into premature celebration for Caf Champions League qualification

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Jose Riveiro, Orlando Pirates, May 2023
Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro does not want to get overly excited about his chances of guiding the Buccaneers to the Caf Champions League.
  • Pirates under pressure to return to Africa
  • Bucs held to frustrating draw
  • Riveiro does not want to celebrate yet

WHAT HAPPENED: Orlando Pirates were left frustrated by Sekhukhune United who came from a goal down to make sure that they stole a point from the Buccaneers on Saturday afternoon. 

Pirates are eying a return to continental football where they are desperate to be part of next season's Caf Champions League, and this draw has given SuperSport United some hope to qualify ahead of the Sea Robbers.

Gavin Hunt's side beat Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in Rustenburg and this result sees Matsatsantsa A Pitori and Bucs sitting level on 51 points in the Premier Soccer League. However, Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro says while they just need to make sure they win in their last game, they cannot afford to count their eggs before they hatch.

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WHAT WAS SAID: "We cannot celebrate now because the situation is still the same as it was before the start of the game. It is now in our hands and we have to go to Durban next week against AmaZulu and be better than them," the Pirates mentor told SuperSport TV after the game.

"We have to accept the result. But cannot concede the type of goal that we conceded, it is unacceptable and we need to reflect on it and try to do better next time because we are playing a final soon and we have another crucial game next week. These types of details make a big difference.

Riveiro added: "It is not a surprise, we are fighting for a bigger achievement against SuperSport and they have done their job, but we will have to see what happens in one week."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pirates have had a decent run in the league this season as they managed to overtake SuperSport to second spot after the Pretoria outfit have been tailing champions Mamelodi Sundowns for most of the season. 

The Sea Robbers also claimed the MTN8 title and are now in the final of the Nedbank Cup where they will face the very same Babina Noko side on 27 May at Loftus Versfeld.

The pressure to be in the Champions League comes from the fact that their arch rivals, Amakhosi, managed to reach the final in 2021 while Masandawana have made it a habit to participate in the continental showpiece.

WHAT'S NEXT? Pirates will travel to KwaZulu-Natal where they will cap off their league campaign against Usuthu.