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HomeNedbank CupRiveiro Admits Pirates Duo Offers Hope Of Positive End Of Season Run

Riveiro Admits Pirates Duo Offers Hope Of Positive End Of Season Run

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro admits the recent form of Monnapule Saleng and Tshegofatso Mabasa is a positive sign for the end of the 2023/24 season run.

After winning the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup his debut season, finishing second to qualify for CAF Champions League, much was expected of Riveiro and his troops in his second campaign at the Buccaneers.

They retained the MTN8 title but stuttered in the DStv Premiership, albeit in second place after 20 games, they trial league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by 13 points while having played two games more than Masandawana.

Being eliminated before the group stage, by Botswana Premier League side Jwaneng Galaxy was another blow for the group.

But much like last season since the turn of the year, their form found more consistency as they are unbeaten in six games across all competitions and into the last eight of the Nedbank Cup – where they were drawn with AmaZulu.

Mabasa, who returned from Moroka Swallows, where he was vying for the Golden Boot, and Saleng, who’s found his scoring touch again after a subdued first half of the season, is offering Riveiro more options.

“We’re in a similar situation as one year ago, I think a year ago in the second half of the season we managed to be the best team in the second half in terms of numbers, and right now it’s early to say but we’re getting there,” Riveiro said when asked about the scoring form of the attacking duo.

“One of the reasons is we have more than one or two players in a good moment [of form] up front in our front four, the same as one year ago. 

“Obviously with the quality we have in the squad when you manage to have three, four, five players in a good moment, the team will feel it in a positive way – one of the reasons, little by little we’re getting more solid in terms of replicating performances.”

Pirates host in-from Sekhukhune United when domestic football resumes at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on 30 March.

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.