Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has praised Olisa Ndah for a good performance against Mamelodi Sundowns in their MTN8 final at Moses Mabhida stadium on Saturday evening.

The Nigerian-born defender has been out of action for the Buccaneers since February 2023 after he scored an own goal in Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs.

ALSO READ: Riveiro explains why he didn’t start with Paseka Mako

Ndah came on as a substitute in the first half after Nkosinathi Sibisi picked up an injury. Riveiro was impressed with the performance of Ndah who played well alongside Thapelo Xoki.

“Olisa [was] exceptional, coming from the bench. Almost 10 months injured and he was spectacular tonight. Xoki as usual, the fullbacks as well. I think everybody I mean the midfielders the one team until they were a bit tired,” Riveiro said during the post-match press conference at Durban.

OLISA NDAH GREAT PERFORMANCE IN THE MTN8 FINAL

However, the Spaniard was not impressed with the performance of his team but indicated that sometimes you need other things to win the match and they did that. The windy weather didn’t allow both teams to play their usual game.

“In general, I think it was that kind of performance that probably you will not remember because of the football that we developed during the night with our moments as well.

“But in terms of fighting commitment, and in the finals, you need to really want it. If you want it badly more than the opponent then you’re closer, it’s how Pirates play in the finals.

“Football is not only about possession and number of passes. Sometimes you need other things and we did that well,” he said.

The Buccaneers will be back in action after the FIFA break in when they host Polokwane City at Orlando stadium.

By Katleho Hlalele

MTN8 winning coach Jose Riveiro has explained what seemed to be a surprising decision to bench Paseka Mako against Mamelodi Sundowns at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Orlando Pirates defended their MTN8 trophy during penalties after the Buccaneers and Masandawana played a goalless draw after 120 minutes.

ALSO READ: Broos announce squad for eSwatini and Ivory Coast 

Mako replaced Bandile Shandu in the 92nd minute of the match. Riveiro has emphasized that Mako couldn’t train during the week but only on Friday.

JOSE RIVEIRO ON PASEKA MAKO DECISION

“Last season we only had Paseka Mako on the bench, one defender and today it was the same, we had Olisa [Ndah] to play in the position, but Paseka couldn’t train during the week, only yesterday,” Riveiro stated.

“Once Olisa was on the field, we were a bit afraid because we only had Shandu and then Hotto too in that role as a left fullback because like I said Paseka couldn’t be ready on time but he gave us fantastic 30 minutes in the end as well, even in the right side.”

The 29-year-old has been one of the regulars for the Buccaneers this season after collecting ten appearances in all competitions for his club.

By Katleho Hlalele

Mamelodi Sundowns have been doing as they please in South African football since coach Pitso Mosimane‘s era. Mosimane laid a foundation after taking over the reins from the Dutch coach, Johan Neeskens, in December 2012. Sundowns went on to win the CAF Champions League in 2016 as well as premiership titles along the way and since then, they have become a monster team in South African football to date.

Now the question is, can anyone show up to finally stop Masandawana’s momentum? LimSportsZone editor Clifton Mabasa looks at whom, he thinks, can challenge the champions.

WHY ORLANDO PIRATES STAND A CHANCE

Without any doubt, football wise, Pirates can be the team to challenge Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2023/2024 season, despite their awful start in the league. The Buccaneers have had some epic cup battles with Sundowns lately, winning the MTN8 twice and the Nedbank Cup between 2020 and 2023.

This strongly suggests that they have all the attributes to take anything at stake, to take whatever comes their way. Pirates have a great chance and have the potential to go to the next level.

OPINION: Who can challenge Mamelodi Sundowns dominating football display?
Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrate

COACH JOSE RIVEIRO’S INFLUENCE

Following the arrival of the Spanish coach, Jose Riveiro, whose appointment in June 2022 left South African football lovers in a perplexed state as many thought he lacked experience—the Soweto giants have been displaying good football.

In fact, the Buccaneers have, of late, been the one team who gave Sundowns tough times whenever they met. Judging by their last few games of last season.

Riveiro’s side turned out to be the second-best side in the DStv Premiership last season. The coach led the Sea Robbers to an unforeseeable level of success in his first season. This should be a special notification to everyone that something special is being done.

The Vigo-born coach made Pirates to be arguably the most dominant club that can challenge the unconquerable Sundowns in the league. And verily, when the two teams lock horns in a particular match, fans witness a better game of football.

MZANSI’S FOOTBALL DEVOTEES LOVE PIRATES’ APPROACH

And now, many of Mzansi’s football lovers have given their honest verdict on Pirates’ style of play. Interestingly, among those, is coach Pitso Mosimane—who has not given many positive views when it comes to foreign coaches.

However, speaking to Power FM Sport Show back in June, the former Al Ahly coach said: “Firstly, I must congratulate the Buccaneers for winning two trophies. The coach, first year, two trophies. I am very much impressed by his formations and tactics. He is very spot on.”

“He knows his stuff, he is very calm and humble, and he has also done very well. You know my opinion about European coaches in South Africa. This is what we want to see, this is a value add, brilliant. This is what we need from European coaches in South Africa.”

So basically, this speaks a lot about the Pirates we are all seeing in this year’s DStv Premiership campaign.

WHAT MAKES THE BUCCANEERS A POTENTIAL CHALLENGER TO MAMELODI SUNDOWNS

Another reason that makes Pirates a potential challenger is that they know how to recruit quality players.
Pirates possess some of the best players in the country. Their scouting department has not been sleeping on duty lately.

The Buccaneers’ strategy of bringing players on board in recent years has and will continue to pay off.

Nonetheless, we will see how it will unfold, as the season goes.

By Clifton Mabasa

Soweto Giants Orlando Pirates have announced the appointment of former Yanga SC Conditioning Coach Helmi Gueldich. Gueldich brings with him a wealth of experience having recently worked as the Strength and Conditioning coach for Tanzanian League Champions, Yanga SC.

ALSO READ: CONFIRMED: Lesedi Kapinga joins Orlando Pirates

“Notably, Gueldich is not only a seasoned professional. But also a former player, holding a Ph.D. in Exercise Science,” the PSL club announced on Thursday.

Orlando Pirates appoint former Yanga coach Helmi Gueldich
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro

“His wealth of knowledge and background will be a valuable asset to the team. This appointment couldn’t come at a more crucial time, as the Buccaneers are gearing up to compete in five challenging competitions this season.”

DEMANDING SCHEDULE PROMPTS APPOINTMENT OF HELMI GUELDICH

“The demanding schedule makes it imperative that the players remain consistently available for selection. Helmi Gueldich will be collaborating closely with Michel Bellver. Forming a dynamic partnership that is poised to elevate Jose Riveiro’s technical team to new heights.”

Three-time CAF Champions League winner Pitso Mosimane has praised the work done by Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro in his first season in the PSL.

Riveiro was appointed as Pirates head coach in June 2022 on a three-year deal. The appointment of the coach left people in a perplexed state—as many thought he lacked experience.

However, the Spanish coach has proven and enjoyed an excellent start to his debut in Mzansi’s football fraternity. He led Pirates to two cup titles (MTN8 and Nedbank Cup) in the 2022/2023 season.

Also read: Relebohile Ratomo: The Orlando Pirates phenom whose debut left football lovers amused 

The Soweto giants have won two trophies under Riveiro, that is more than any other DStv Premiership side this past season. The 47-year-old mentor has also managed to finish in second position in the league. He has also qualified his team for the CAF Champions League.

Mosimane feels that the coach has changed the mood in the club. The Buccaneers have in the past seasons struggled to win more than one trophy in a season. They have won more than two official titles ten years ago in a year.

PITSO MOSIMANE HEAPS OF PRAISE ON JOSE RIVEIRO

While heaping praise on the coach, Mosimane has admitted the Spaniard has done a pretty impressive job in turning the Sea Robbers around.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns coach has hailed Riveiro as an exceptional “calm and humble” football facilitator.

“First, I must congratulate the Buccaneers (for winning two trophies),” Mosimane said on Power FM Sport Show.

Pitso Mosimane praises Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro
Pitso Mosimane with his entire technical staff 

“The coach, first year, two trophies. I am very much impressed. I have been listening to him about formations and tactics. He is very spot on.

“He knows his stuff, he is very calm and humble and he has also done very well.

“You know my opinion about European coaches in South Africa. This is what we want to see, this is value add, brilliant. This is what we need from European coaches in South Africa.”

By Clifton Mabasa

Orlando Pirates FC head coach Jose Riveiro has revealed that he didn’t nominate both Mamelodi Sundowns players Ronwen Williams and Teboho Mokoena for the PSL Awards. Mokoena was voted the PSL Footballer of the Year by Premiership coaches.

The awards ceremony during the virtual awards held on Sunday. The decision has since divided football lovers with some suggesting that Pirates forward Monnapule Saleng is the deserving winner.

TEBOHO MOKOENA WIN BIG AT PSL AWARDS

Saleng won two awards, MTN8 Last Man Standing and Players Player of the Season. On the other side, Mokoena also won Midfielder of the Season. He was nominated alongside Themba Zwane and  Saleng for Midfielder of the Season. As for Footballer of the Season, Mokoena was nominated along with Ronwen Williams and Saleng.

PSL Awards controversy as Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro snub Mamelodi Sundowns player Teboho Mokoena
Jose Riveiro

In 22 league games, Monnapule Saleng scored 11 goals and assisted 8 goals for Orlando Pirates. Teboho Mokoena scored one goal and assisted one goal in 24 league games. Saleng was directly involved in 19 goals more than any player in the DStv Premiership while Mokoena was directly involved in two goals.

Also read: Unstoppable Mamelodi Sundowns beat Sekhukhune 

Saleng also won the Nedbank Cup and MTN8 Cup with Orlando Pirates FC during the 2022/23 season. Mokoena only won the DStv Premiership with the Brazilians.

Riveiro believes that Saleng is the one who deserves the Footballer of the Season award and he also said he does not want to say he voted for who.

WHAT ORLANDO PITRATES COACH JOSE RIVEIRO SAYS

“I can’t disclose who I voted for as Footballer of the Season. But I didn’t nominate any of the players from Sundowns that were there. I would have voted for Saleng cos he’s been brilliant for us, but you can’t vote for your own players,” Riveiro said on Radio 2000 on Monday evening.

Both Teboho Mokoena and Monnapule Saleng are included in the 34-man preliminary Bafana Bafana squad to face Morocco next month at FNB Stadium for AFCON qualifiers. In the first leg, Bafana Bafana lost 2-1 at Morocco.

South Africa and the Atlas Lions have already qualified for the 2024 AFCON that will be held in Ivory Coast from 13 January to 11 February 2024. This will be the second time Ivory Coast hosting the AFCON. Ivory Coast first hosted this tournament in 1984 where Cameroon defeated Nigeria to be the champions of this competition.

By Banele Hlakanyana

Stellenbosch striker Iqraam Rayners and Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro have won the DStv Premiership best player and coach of the month April awards, respectively.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) made an announcement on Monday.

IQRAAM RAYNERS ON FIRE 

Rayners scored six times in as many league appearances over the course of the month in which he returned to Stellenbosch, ensuring he would top the vote and win the accolade for the second time this year.

After a tough start to the season for Stellies, the goal-poacher helped his side bounce back in style as they saw off Golden Arrows and Swallows during the month.

   Iqraam Rayners and Jose Riveiro win DStv Premiership monthly awards
Iqraam Rayners

Also read: PSL announces first DStv Premiership monthly awards 

The former SuperSport United striker remains the only outfield player to win a monthly individual award this season after he was rewarded with the DStv Premiership Player of the Month for April.

He outclassed the likes of Cape Town City forward Khanyiso Mayo, on form Ranga Chivaviro of Marumo Gallants and Orlando Pirates’ midfielder Kabelo Dlamini.

COACH JOSE RIVEIRO IMPACT 

On the other hand, to land the award, the coach Jose Riveiro beat the likes of Raymond Mdaka of Marumo Gallants and Stellenbosch FC’s Steve Barker who have also been doing well lately in their teams.

Prior to picking up April’s accolade, the Spaniard coach had won the award in August 2022 after helping his side to win plenty of the DStv Premiership matches.

For these awards, according to the PSL, the gentlemen will also each receive a trophy and R7, 000 courtesy of league sponsors, DStv.  

By Clifton Mabasa

Venda Football Academy (VFA) may have lost against Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup last 16 clash, but the Bucs coach Jose Riveiro was pleased with his opponent’s display. 

VFA went down 2-1 in a match that went to extra time at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.

Also read: Chiefs through to the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals 

The Motsepe Foundation Championship side looked staring down the barrel as Riveiro’s men raced into a 1-0 lead before a goal from Ex-Kaizer Chiefs player, Edmore Chirambadare turned the game on its head. But eventually, the Soweto giants claimed the victory as the club’s star, Thembinkosi Lorch netted the controversial winning goal in the extra time.

Orlando Pirates have secured the spot in the last 8 of the Nedbank Cup following their 2-1 hard-fought win over VFA
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro was impressed with VFA performances

The spirit shown by Joel Masutha’s side impressed Jose Riveiro. The coach believes that the Motsepe Foundation Championship league has quality players and a higher tactical set-up.

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveito heaps praise on VFA players

The Spanish mentor, Riveiro lavished praise on the Limpopo side players whilst also considering the match as a learning opportunity.

“To be honest, it has surprised me a bit tonight from the opponent, I expected it but not in a way they did,” Riveiro told reporters after the match.

“They played quite differently compared to the way they have been in their league. But it is a typical situation that I have already experienced in the knockout rounds.

“The players have quality, even in the first division, they have quality. The technique is higher, so they feel no pressure because whatever they do here tonight is going to be great.

Also read: Pirates through to Nedbank Quarters after late win against VFA 

“They had a chance to play Pirates and said let’s do it nicely, and I am glad of how they played and how brave they were. So, I take these kinds of games as part of our learning.”

Nedbank Cup last 8 teams 

The Sea Robbers have progressed to the last eight, joining the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns, Chippa United, Sekhukhune United, Royal AM, giants killers Dondol Stars, with Chiefs and Stellenbosch having joined the rest on Sunday after their respective wins.

Orlando Pirates midfielder Thabang Monare has revealed why the players have responded well to head coach Jose Riveiro’s way of doing things. The Spaniard joined Pirates at the beginning of the current season after a stint in Finland. 

He has made an instant impact with the squad winning the 2022 MTN8 final after beating AmaZulu in the final. 

WHY ORLANDO PIRATES COACH JOSE RIVEIRO IS SPECIAL 

“He understands us as individuals and he knows how to speak to individuals in certain ways,” said Monare. 

“So I think that’s the trick that he brings within the squad where he understands it first and he is a good human being. 

“He has a way of approaching individuals in a different way. Obviously we are different people who come from different backgrounds so I think he has a way of doing that,” he added. 

Monare was speaking at the Nedbank Cup last 16 draw in Johannesburg on Wednesday. Pirates have been drawn against Motsepe Foundation Championship side Venda Football Academy. The 33-year-old insists Riveiro makes football look easy for everyone.

THABANG MONARE APPRECIATES RIVEIRO’S SIMPLICITY 

“What he does he makes us see football in a more easy way if I may. He makes us work on tasks whereby we are pieces of a puzzle so when those pieces are complete it becomes the bigger picture.

Thabang Monare
Thabang Monare

“So he has a way of working with that where midfielders, defenders and goalkeepers do different things. So it’s like pieces of puzzles that when they come together it becomes a beautiful picture.”

Riveiro is set to miss the DStv Premiership clash against Maritzburg United after being given a two-match suspension. He reportedly used bad language towards officials during Pirates’ Nedbank Cup last 32 clash with All Stars over the weekend.

Club assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi will be tasked with taking charge of the team in his absence. 

ALSO READ: Orlando Pirates sign Cameroonian striker Souaibou Marou