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HomeNedbank CupRiveiro - Why Makgopa & Saleng Started Ahead Of Mabasa & Rele

Riveiro – Why Makgopa & Saleng Started Ahead Of Mabasa & Rele

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has explained why he opted to start with Evidence Makgopa and Monnapule Saleng over Tshegofatso Mabasa and Relebohile Mofokeng.

Riveiro, 46, lifted his fourth trophy since taking over Pirates after defending the Nedbank Cup final thanks to a last-minute goal by Mofokeng.

However, Riveiro and his technical surprised many when Golden Boot winner Mabasa and in-form Mofokeng only started on the bench, but the Spaniard explained it was part of their game plan to be able to use those two players late in the game when Sundowns might be a bit leggy.

“Imagine if we lose, that question. But we have to be here to make decisions. And we try to make the decisions that we feel that are going to help us to win the game,” Riveiro stated after the match.

“We have many players on form. The ones that didn’t start today [Mabasa and Mofokeng], like you said were regulars in the recent games, they gave us amazing moments in the last game. It was hard for me to to not play them from the beginning.

“But we know that these type of games and and when I say we know it’s in plural – not only myself the whole group – we know that we need, I think that I said many times already, that we need to dominate different games during the game.

“So Makgopa, for example, instead of Tshego, like I said before the match, you have to accept that with Sundowns, you will spend more time far from [Ronwen] Williams than close to Williams, and Evidence can help us a lot in that scenario.

“The speed of Saleng, the capacity of [Deon] Hotto to repeat efforts to hold [Khuliso] Mudau in the positions that Mudau was forced to play in the first half, there’s a lot of components that now when we are the winning team, we can say that it works.

“But that’s not true. It’s not because of the result.

“Lke I said in the explanation before, we knew or we expected again that in the last 25, 30 minutes, we will get the control of the game and we will have the capacity to continue having a decent pace on the field with Rele, with Tshego, even with Shakes [Lepasa] – even though in the end he didn’t participate – but was also one of the things that we considered as an option. But in the end, we choose a different way with [Kabelo] Dlamini and with and with [Patrick] Maswanganyi in the middle to get that control.

“So there’s many components that in the end, just to finalise, when we win is fine when we don’t then it’s rubbish, the game plan from the outside.

“For us, we know we what it takes to win these kinds of games and we accept the risk to choose 11 players that we really believe that are the ones who are going to help us, in the beginning of the game, then during the match, like I said before, we need to be prepared for that game that is going to be played after 60 after 70, when you are 1-1, etc. And I think overall, the guys did a good job.”

David Kappel
David Kappel
David Kappel has served as a renowned international editor and content manager for almost a decade. David specialises in ensuring content and social media posts are highly engaging for football fans and was previously the international editor at Soccer Laduma. He is currently the iDiski Times website editor and social strategist.
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