Jose Riveiro says Orlando Pirates will go all out against SuperSport United

Johannesburg — Pirates coach Jose Riveiro says they will leave no stone unturned against SuperSport United as the two teams battle for second place.

Runaway champions Mamelodi Sundowns thrashed Royal AM on Tuesday night to go 20 points clear of second-placed SuperSport after 23 league matches.

SuperSport might still mathematically be in the running for the title, but they’ll realistically know that Sundowns won’t relinquish their lead as they are four-points away from winning a record sixth title in a row.

SuperSport, moreover, will have to continue battling for the runners-up spot against Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, who are both level on 34 points, five behind them.

But with a chance to lessen that gap to just two points, Riveiro’s team will be determined to walk away with the full points when they welcome Matsantsantsa to Orlando on Saturday night.

“We’ll play finals until the end – in the league and Nedbank Cup. Every game will be crucial for us,” Riveiro said in their build up to the match this week.

“It goes without saying that it’s important to find ourselves at the end of the season in the top two. They are a team that’s fighting for the same objective as us at this moment and they have more advantage.

“So it’s important for us to get three points, and ensure that the opponent does not get the points. We usually expect them not to get the points in their games but this time is an opportunity to beat them.”

SuperSport will travel to Orlando with Zakhele Lepasa, who knows the hosts well after joining Matsantsantsa on loan from the Bucs in January and is expected to have shared some inside info on his parent club.

However, Pirates captain Innocent Maela says their focus will not only be on Lepasa as SuperSport has a strong striking contingent that includes Bradley Grobler, who recently scored his 100th goal in the PSL.

“We played with Zakes and we know him very well. But that won’t make a big difference. He’s playing with new teammates and there’s a new pattern at the club,” Maela said.

Pirates were heavily tipped to go toe-to-toe with Sundowns for all the major trophies this season, including the title after they won the MTN8.

However, Riveiro says there are a lot of factors that led to their stuttering in the title race, hence they had to fight for the No 2 spot which still guarantees a spot in the CAF Champions League next season.

“We are so far in terms of the points and one of the reasons is that we have to accept that they are doing an excellent job after winning 19 games in the league,” Riveiro said.

“And we have to accept that some teams just win endlessly. We then do our own analysis. I can say that I know why we are far (behind). There are multiple reasons.

“There are moments when we couldn’t get the average points per month or week that we were supposed to get. We were, without doubt, the best team in the MTN8.”


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