Avatar photo

By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Pirates coach Riveiro expects fight to finish with SuperSport for second place

'I anticipate that the last three games of the season are going to be very entertaining,' said the Bucs coach.

Orlando Pirates might have closed the gap between them and SuperSport United in the race for a second place finish in the DStv Premiership, but coach Jose Riveiro knows United will continue to fight.

Pirates, who are in third place on the league standings, beat second placed SuperSport 1-0 in a league clash played at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

ALSO READ: Barcelona snatch Clasico win over Madrid to strike title blow

The Buccaneers got the only goal of the match through Tapelo Xoki’s penalty in the second half, to help the Buccaneers go to 37 points after 23 games, while SuperSport are on 39 points. Riveiro believes the win for Pirates will be a good morale booster going forward, but, he knows that there are other teams like Kaizer Chiefs and Cape Town City who are also trying to finish the league campaign as runners-up.

“The confidence and trusting (the was the team plays) in general is going to be good but we still have 21 points to play for and I can guarantee you that SuperSport United are going to fight until the end,” said Riveiro.

“Those teams that are coming from behind us will also have opportunities and I anticipate that the last three games of the season are going to be very entertaining.”

With the teams now going on a Fifa break, Riveiro says it is important to keep his side in shape despite some of his key players – Monnapule Saleng, Innocent Maela and Nkosinathi Sibisi – being called up to the Bafana Bafana squad that will face Liberia in two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

ALSO READ: Pirates defender Sibisi expected a ‘tough’ clash against SuperSport

“We have to [train during the break] without our international players who are with their national teams; we are proud to send those players to the national teams. We will try to keep the players fit and have our internal competition at the end of the week where we are not playing for points, but to keep players hungry,” he added.

After the break, Pirates has a league tie against Richards Bay away from home on 1 April to continue their quest for second place. 

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits