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Riveiro Praises Pirates’ Resilience And Fan Support After Nedbank Cup Win

  • April 13, 2024
  • 2 min read
Riveiro Praises Pirates’ Resilience And Fan Support After Nedbank Cup Win

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro commended his team’s fighting spirit and fan-inspired performance after their dramatic 4-2 comeback victory over AmaZulu in the Nedbank Cup quarter-final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

The win secured a coveted spot in the semifinals.

“I’m truly happy for the boys. They battled hard, playing football when it mattered and fighting when the situation demanded it,” Riveiro expressed on SuperSport TV after the match.

“Today, I’m not surprised, but impressed by the team’s competitive spirit. We played well technically, but also with heart. They play for the fans,” he added.

Pirates began strongly, dominating possession until Pule Ekstein’s powerful strike beat Sipho Chaine. The game then picked up pace, becoming a lively encounter with attacking opportunities at both ends.

The Soweto giants roared back with a perfectly executed free kick by Kabelo Dlamini and a penalty converted by Patrick Maswanganyi before halftime. AmaZulu, however, refused to back down, equalizing through a well-placed header from Taariq Fielies.

The score remained tied at 2-2, leading to a relentless exchange of attacks. Riveiro believes his team emerged victorious in this aspect of the game.

“Like I said, cup games are like this. You have to play multiple games within the 90 minutes, and I think we were the better team in each of them,” Riveiro emphasized.

The Spanish coach strategically introduced fresh legs with Monnapule Saleng, who assisted Makhaula’s goal, and Thalente Mbatha, aiming to maintain energy levels and wear down their opponents.

“We knew that maintaining the same energy on the field would ultimately lead us to victory. We anticipated and prepared for it,” the coach affirmed. “We focused on maintaining energy in midfield. We have options on the bench. Thalente offers more control, verticality, and power, as evidenced by his role in the goal.”

While praising his team, Riveiro also expressed his appreciation for the massive fan support, with the stadium filled to capacity.

“The atmosphere was incredible. Ultimately, we play for them. They’ll be Orlando Pirates fans forever. We’re here for a period, and we must give our all because that’s what they deserve,” concluded Riveiro.

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Nkanyiso Mchunu

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