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No goal since September 2023: Riveiro share thoughts on Lepasa’s goal drought

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has shared his thoughts on the goal drought of striker Zakhele Lepasa.

The Bafana Bafana international last scored a goal for Pirates in September 2023 in the first-leg of the MTN8 semi-finals against Stellenbosch FC.

Lepasa began the 2023/24 PSL season like a house on fire which saw him score 10 goals across all competitions in the first round of the campaign.

The 27-year-old attacker was the preferred choice to lead the Pirates striking force early in the season. He kept Souaibou Marou, Kermit Erasmus, and Evidence Makgopa out of the starting lineup before suffering an injury on national duty with Bafana Bafana in October 2023.

Despite forming a part of the Bafana squad that claimed a bronze medal at the 2023 AFCON held in Ivory Coast, Lepasa has struggled to reclaim the starting berth at Pirates.

In his absence, Makgopa assumed the striking role and established himself as a regular starter under the Spanish tactician.

Tshegofatso Mabasa in action for the Orlando Pirates against Golden Arrows
Tshegofatso Mabasa is the preferred choice in the striking department for Pirates


The former Baroka FC goal poacher also suffered an injury setback, opening a door for Tshegofatso Mabasa, who returned from a loan spell with Moroka Swallows to get a run.

Mabasa has proven to be lethal in front of goal, netting seven times in all competitions since his return from Swallows. ‘Sniper’ is also chasing the DStv Premiership Golden Boot after scoring 10 goals in the league this season.


Asked how Orlando Pirates is helping Lepasa to get back to his scoring form, Riveiro said: “Zakhele was scoring; he scored a hattrick early in the season. He was really in a good space with a very high ratio of minutes played and goals,”

“But we play with one striker, with one number nine, or however you want to call it. And now he’s not in a considerable number of minutes.

“That’s why he’s not scoring in the games. He’s training well, fighting, and trying to understand what we expect from him and everyone in his position.”

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