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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Riveiro banking on last season’s Nedbank Cup experience to beat Crystal Lake

'Playing a lower-league team may look like it’s going to be easy, but it is not.,' said the Spaniard.

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro is banking on the team’s last season’s Nedbank Cup experience to overcome Crystal Lake FC when they meet in this season’s edition of the competition in the round of 32 at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

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Pirates were tested when three of their opening fixtures of the Ke Yona Cup were against teams in the lower division. They played Cape Town All Stars, Venda Football Academy, and Dondol Stars on their way to winning the trophy.

The Buccaneers now face Crystal Lake, a SAFA regional league side from Mpumalanga, but, Riveiro knows very well that it won’t be a walk in the park for his charges and they will be going out with guns blazing to try and win the match against the third-tier side.

“With the illusion of a team that wants to replicate a good performance in the same competition just one year ago, we need to start from the beginning,” said Riveiro this week.

‘They have an opportunity’

“At the beginning of this round, they are an unknown team to us. Playing a lower-league team may look like it’s going to be easy, but it is not. It is an important day for Crystal Lake. They have an opportunity to face Pirates.

“We have experience from facing lower league teams last season, in this case, teams from the second division (Safa league) – Dondol Stars and Venda Football Academy. We know how difficult it was.. We are going with the intention of showing maximum respect for our opponents and taking the game seriously.”

“We are hard workers that is why we managed to get trophies. There is nothing else besides that, and we want to repeat the same feat this season. When I think about this competition, I can only think about beautiful memories in all the games we played – extraordinary memories in the semifinal and final.”

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“So, we want to be there again. But the way to do that is to win every game in the competition.”

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