Bucs’ Champions League fate rests in the hands of Stellies

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro is optimistic that his side will claim the second spot but admits that their CAF Champions League fate remains in the hands of Stellenbosch FC.

Despite producing a commanding 2-0 win over Chippa United and Stellenbosch playing to a goalless draw against AmaZulu on Wednesday night, the Pirates are still playing catch-up and are one point behind Stellies.

The Buccaneers are sitting on number three on the log with 49 points, while Stellenbosch are just above them with 50 points.

Plan is to finish second

With only three matches remaining, Riveiro said his side must continue to apply pressure if they are to fulfil their objective of finishing as the second-best team in the league.

“Stellies are still ahead of us with one point, and that is the reality,” Riveiro said after the match against Chippa.

“We are still depending on their own performances and results, but we must continue putting pressure on them and pushing as much as we can to get to where we want to get.

“It’s going to be difficult for all of us until the end, with tight games for sure, but at the same time it is a good fight.

“Stellies are having an excellent season, and whatever happens at the end, it will be an exceptional campaign for them.

“We are going to try to achieve our second objective of finishing second this season, and we will give it our all.”

Solid defence praised

The Pirates have been solid like a rock in defence, keeping four consecutive clean sheets in the league on top of their seven wins on the trot in all competitions.

Riveiro has lauded his defence but urged his team to be consistent in defence and attack.

“Being solid at the back and not conceding is a big thing for a team with the amount of capacity that we have in attack — it’s very difficult for teams to keep a clean sheet against us,” he said.

“So, whenever we don’t concede, it is almost guaranteed that we will get three points because, if I am not mistaken, we are the second-best team in the league in terms of scoring goals behind [Mamelodi] Sundowns.

“So, we need to keep this consistency in defence and not give away any goals. We have been defending very well so far and have not conceded many opportunities for the opposition to score.

“But we obviously need everybody involved and everyone performing in every phase of the game, offensively and defensively.”

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