July 13, 2024

Riveiro’s Cup Charm Canceled By Jwaneng Galaxy

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They suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Jwaneng Galaxy in a first leg of the CAF Champions League.

FILE PHOTO: Orlando Pirates celebrating after being crowned Nedbank Cup winners on Saturday evening. PICTURE: Orlando Pirates/Twitter

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JOHANNESBURG: Riveiro may rue his decision to make wholesale changes to his team.

Orlando Pirates have lost a cup game for the first time under Jose Riveiro, who took over the reins at Pirates in June 2022. The Spaniard enjoyed a relatively good cup run with the Buccaneers at the start of his career. He has won two knockout competitions in the 2022/23 season: the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup.

The Soweto giants have played 13 cup games under their Spaniard mentor, winning 11 and drawing two, an impressive run that has now ended. They suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Jwaneng Galaxy in the first leg of the CAF Champions League second preliminary round in Botswana on Sunday.

Ezimnyama, as they are affectionately known, have all to do in a second leg at the Orlando Stadium, South Africa, if they are to progress to the group stages of the competition. The club is desperate to conquer Africa again as they did in 1995 when they claimed their solitary star.

Riveiro may rue his decision to make wholesale changes to his team. Tweaking what has worked thus far, he gave a rare start to five players. He named the likes of Richard Ofori, Miguel Timm, Lesedi Kapinga, Sandile Mthethwa and Souaibau Marou on the starting berth while resting regulars, such as Saleng and the red-hot Lepasa.

The Bucs are competing in three gruelling competitions and are thus starting to feel the effects of playing in the league, Champions League and MTN8.

They are under pressure to replicate the cup successes of Riveiro’s first season in charge. Incidentally, they are tipped to challenge the unstoppable Mamelodi Sundowns, who cross paths in their next league match at the Orlando Stadium this Wednesday.

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