Pirates coach not bothered by another loss

football24 September 2023 19:49| © Mzansi Football
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Jose Riveiro © BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro said he was not bothered by the loss to Stellenbosch on Sunday in the second leg of the MTN8 semifinal as the club squeezed their way into the final on the away goals rule.

Stellenbosch beat Pirates 1-0 with a defected own goal from Zakhele Lepasa in the 22nd minute but a 2-1 success away in the first leg in Cape Town three weeks ago ensured Pirates, who are the holders, reached the final against Mamelodi Sundowns in Durban on 7 October.

The loss at the Orlando Stadium followed defeats last Sunday away in Botswana in the African Champions League against Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana and then a loss at home on Wednesday in the DStv Premiership to champions Sundowns.

“Three defeats in a row is not usual for us, right, even though if now we're in the final,” said Riveiro after Sunday’s loss

“We managed to get the result that we needed. You know, it's fine. We got through, it's like this. We lost today but we are the team in the final, so that's what it counts in the end.

“So I don't take it like a defeat, even though in the records is going show that it was a defeat. It's in our hands. We have the same chances as our opponent on 7 October and there are still 25 games to play in the league. It might not look like it but I'm a very, very optimistic person. I think that everything is going be alright always.”

On the final, which will be in Durban, the Pirates boss added: “It's a final, there's pressure for both, you have a bad day, you don't win the title. But I think it's going to a nice game. Both teams are very strong. There's a lot of things to prove in that game for each side. And again, like I said last Wednesday, the people will have the opportunity to see 22 fantastic players fighting for the title in an excellent environment at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.”