Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro admitted to not understanding the reason behind his side’s failure to score, having now gone 270 minutes without a goal.
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro is fast becoming a victim of his own success as the club’s poor run continues, despite reaching a third cup final in 15 months.
The Sea Robbers lost 1-0 to Stellenbosch FC in the MTN8 semi-final second leg on Sunday, but went through on away goals – and will face Mamelodi Sundowns in the final next month.
For the first time since his arrival at the beginning of last season, the 48-year-old has suffered three consecutive defeats, and has also not seen his team score in that period.
Pirates began their torrid run with a loss to Botswana’s Jwaneng Galaxy in their Caf Champions League preliminary-round first-leg encounter before going down to Sundowns in the Premiership.
‘Feelings of anxiety’
Although in celebration, the club’s loss to Stellenbosch has also rippled feelings of anxiety among a section of the club’s supporters who have placed great faith as well as expectation on the shoulders of Riveiro.
The slow-brewing pressure that has begun to rise just two months into the season is a consequence of a common belief that Pirates are arguably the closest club to end the rule of Sundowns in the league, with Riveiro seen as the right man to ensure that following his debut season achievements.
In his first season at the club, Riveiro was able to capture a domestic Cup double as Pirates won both the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup, while also guiding the club back into Champions League.
Speaking to the media after their match against Stellenbosch, Riveiro opted to point out the positives of advancing to the final and gave his opponents compliments for a well-fought match.
☠️ Watch the #MTN8 Semifinal Post Match Press Conference
📺 Available on PiratesTV 👉🏿 https://t.co/lrEMy5J58n
— Orlando Pirates (@orlandopirates) September 25, 2023
Riveiro also admitted to not understanding the reason behind their failure to score, having now gone 270 minutes without a goal.
“Orlando Pirates are in the MTN8 final one more time. We’re going to prepare ourselves as good as possible for that day, seventh of October, to fight again for one more, and happy for the fact that we are,” Riveiro said.
“The opponent was better. We lost, it’s a fact. We should have never lost this game in my opinion. It was mostly under control. It’s not easy to explain that we didn’t score in the last three games.”
Pirates have had a strange start to the campaign, having already recorded four defeats, six wins and one draw in their 11 outings in all competitions.
Difficult Champions League challenge
Next on Pirates’ agenda is the difficult task of overturning a first-leg loss to Jwaneng Galaxy, who will visit the Orlando Stadium looking to seal their spot in the group stages of the Champions League.
The likes of Zakhele Lepasa, Monnapule Saleng and Patrick Maswanganyi will need to find their scoring touch to help Riveiro put his side back on track, as an early exit from continental competition could be disastrous.