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HomeDStv PremiershipRiveiro - Why Mabasa Has Become Our Leading Nine

Riveiro – Why Mabasa Has Become Our Leading Nine

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has explained why Tshegofatso Mabasa is flourishing as the leading number nine of late.

Mabasa, 27, scored the winner in their 1-0 victory over AmaZulu to move him back to the summit of the Golden Boot charts with 11, level with Mamelodi Sundowns forward Lucas Ribeiro Costa.

But his all-round contributions has been lauded, since his return to the club after loans at Sekhukhne United and Moroka Swallows.

“He’s one more piece in our structure, an important one right now. I’m happy when the players, especially the forwards are delivering goals, but especially when getting the responsibilities in the [final third], constantly offering us other options and possibilities for the other players that are playing around him,” Riveiro said.

“For our number 10s, midfielders, players… [Mabasa] is helping us to be aggressive in our pressing, he’s the first defender in our team, when we don’t have the ball, so it’s contributing to the role we assigned to the number nine position, he’s doing well.

“But it’s also doing well because the ones who are behind, the ones not playing recently are training well, putting pressure, they want to be there as well, they are working for it.

“In the end, only one can go to the field but this is a team, everybody is working to make it possible [to win] and the ones on the field have all our support and he’s not an exception.”

Mabasa has scored 14 goals with three assists in 25 games this season across all comeptitions.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.