Thursday Sep 21, 2023. 13:42
Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro felt the 1-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday was a repeat scenario of their meeting at the Orlando Stadium last season.
The Buccaneers struggled to cope with the high press from Masandawana in the first half and found themselves on the back foot as early as the 12th minute when Lucas Ribeiro scored from the penalty spot.
Riveiro’s side were also made to pay for a poor start against the Brazilians on February 4 when Cassius Mailula struck in the sixth minute to secure a 1-0 victory in Soweto.
The Spanish tactician thinks his players tried to force the issue in the opening 45 minutes in a bid to get on the scoresheet and wants to see more composure from them when in possession.
“Well, we’re repeating the same story again. The last time we played Sundowns here at Orlando [was] not a good first half, we were not ourselves, not at all,” Riveiro told SuperSport after the match.
“Sundowns developed a fantastic pressing, extremely aggressive. We had our problems to get rid of [the second ball]. In the second half we were a different team, but we’re chasing one goal, it’s a different story.
“We have to play with our personality from the first minute, don’t be in a hurry in the first 45 minutes to get a goal and be desperate in the end. But again three points not coming for us, we move [on].”
Pirates trail league leaders Sundowns by 14 points in 11th place with two games in hand after suffering their second defeat of the campaign, but Riveiro insists they aren’t out of the title race just yet.
“We have to play 25 more games in the league, that’s 75 points to play [for],” he added.