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‘We’re competing against points machine’: Riveiro on Sundowns

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has made a strong argument about his side’s performances while making an honest admission about rivals Mamelodi Sundowns.

The Buccaneers’ level of consistency has been questioned as Sundowns have continued to outpace them in the DStv Premiership this season.

Sitting in pole position on the table, the Tshwane giants are 13 points clear and are on course for a seventh successive league title.

Meanwhile, the Sea Robbers are third with 37 points after 23 matches. Pirates are 15 points behind Masandawana despite playing three more games than them.

However, the Spanish coach has insisted that Ezimnyama Ngenkani has been on the beam and consistent in results. He labelled the log leaders Sundowns as a “points machine,” admitting that it is difficult to compete with them.

Rulani Mokwena’s men haven’t tasted defeat in their previous 44 league matches.


Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro at training
Jose Riveiro

“I think we have only lost one game in 2024 if I’m not wrong,” said Riveiro.

“We played a fantastic game in Pretoria [against Mamelodi Sundowns], we managed to get the [Soweto] derby. I think we lost against Sekhukhune United, and we were not at our best during the first 30 minutes.

“But I think what happened last week is a clear example [that we’re consistent]. We didn’t get the result we wanted against Moroka Swallows but it was not a 1-1 performance, not even close.

“I think we played much better against Swallows compared to Arrows. How can you explain that? After a 1-1 and 7-1. The focus for you or people who’re watching is always results.

“We’re not far from [consistency], we are there, we are replicating performances then results are results.

“We can still talk about consistency until the end of our lives, but it’s not the only thing to talk about.

“And when we see above us on top, we’re competing against points-machine, one team that didn’t lose one game in the last 40 or more games. Is that what you call not being consistent?”

The Soweto giants ended last campaign on 54 points, and Riveiro hopes they will surpass that this season.


“We got 54 points, and usually you win the title in South Africa with 60, right? Probably you know better,” he added.

“But again, we’re competing against the point machine; they don’t lose. I don’t know where we’re going to finish this season. I’m not sure if we’re going to pass that number.

“We’re trying. It’s very difficult to get close, but we’re getting there.”

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