Pirates eyeing all three points against Rise And Shine

football29 February 2024 15:17| © Backpage TXT

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro admits they cannot afford any more slip-ups in the race for a top-two finish as he targets maximum points against Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 3:30pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)


The Buccaneers won just seven of their opening 16 matches in the DStv Premiership before the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations break and they returned to action with a 1-1 draw against runaway leaders Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld on 17 February.

The stalemate extended their winless run in the league to three games and Riveiro's side are five points adrift of Cape Town City and SuperSport United in fifth position.

The Citizens and Matsatsantsa remain deadlocked on 31 points apiece in second and third place respectively after they played out to a 1-1 draw at the Cape Town Stadium on 28 February.

Rise And Shine ended the calendar year on a high after they held the Brazilians to a goalless draw in Pretoria on 30 December and made a winning start to the second half of the season as they beat troubled Moroka Swallows 1-0 at the Dobsonville Stadium on 17 February.

Phuti Mohafe's side are now unbeaten in their last three league outings, although wins for TS Galaxy (7th) and Sekhukhune United (8th) on matchday 17 pushed them down ninth in the standings, with all three clubs tied on 24 points.

Mohafe has warned they cannot make the same mistakes against Pirates after squandering the lead to lose 3-2 to Richards Bay in the Nedbank Cup round of 32 on 24 February.


Polokwane City interim coach Phuti Mohafe

"We made a lot of passing errors in the wrong areas and conceded goals (against Richards Bay) because we couldn't deal with the two versus one situations from the left side of their flank. Their first two goals came from that area.

"We came back to score from a set-piece. It was pound for pound in the second half, both sides wanted to win the match. I think even then we should have remained calmer, held the ball better, rotated it better."

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro

"We need to win every match. We are not in a situation where we can have the luxury to drop points when we want to at least finish in the second position and play continental football next season.

"We dropped many points already in the first part of the season, so winning is the only thing in our minds."


Polokwane City - Douglas Mapfumo hit the ground running at the start of the season, scoring in back-to-back games against Cape Town Spurs and Golden Arrows. But the Zimbabwean striker hasn't found the back of the net in his last 10 league appearances, although he was on target against the Natal Rich Boyz in the Nedbank when he opened the scoring with a powerful header.

Orlando Pirates - Evidence Makgopa looked lively against Sundowns in the first half and found pockets of space inside the box to get off two shots that were saved by Ronwen Williams. The 23-year-old striker had scored against Stellenbosch in their final game of 2023 and will be searching for his fifth goal of the campaign when the Bucs visit Rise And Shine.

HEAD-TO-HEAD (Last five DStv Premiership Meetings)

Matches - 5

Polokwane wins - 0

Pirates wins - 4

Draws - 1