Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has explained why his team struggles against Mamelodi Sundowns.
Riveiro commented on games against the PSL gurus Sundowns in an interview with Radio 2000 on October 9 2023.
Why Pirates and Sundowns are fierce competitors?
The Spaniard said possession-based football for Pirates and Sundowns makes both of them fierce competitors.
“It is difficult, first, because you have to share possession with them,” he said.
What Bucs must accept when up against Masandawana
“We are a team that is used to have around 60 percent.
Riveiro then explained what the Bucs must accept when facing Masandawana.
“When you play with Sundowns you have to accept that you are going to share 50-50,” he noted.
“So, the possibility to score will be less.”
Why Sundowns ball-recovery is good
Riveiro added that the manner in which the Tshwane side recovers the ball makes them difficult opponents.
“They don’t allow you to run in transition. So, it is difficult to create chances in transition,” he said.
“So, you have to share possession with them. One plus one is two.”
What did the Nedbank Cup winner say?
The Nedbank Cup winner was asked about the goalless draw against Sundowns last weekend in KwaZulu Natal.
The MTN8 final took place at 2010 FIFA World Cup venue, Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Pirates needed extra-time then post-match penalties to shrug off Sundowns.
It was a fourth consecutive game in which the Buccaneers have failed to defeat the DStv Premiership kings in 90 minutes.
The Spaniard, however, insisted that the Soweto giants are closing in on the gap with the runaway DStv Premiership leaders.
He was asked on whether Pirates stood a chance to catch up with the Tshwane giants in the league.
“Absolutely,” Riveiro responded.
“If you look at the log table now, it is lying. Obviously, it will be different after five or four games.”
The MTN8-double winning tactician said it was too early to rule Pirates out of the league race.
Riveiro, however, did admit that he admires the style of play for Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena.
“They play a football style that you can analyse when you are watching their games.
“They have a way of play that you can recognize,” he added.
Pirates have since been drawn against Cape Town Spurs in the Carling Black Label Knockout.
The tournament is scheduled to start later this month.