Has Orlando Pirates coach Riveiro found his winning formula? 

Jose Riveiro, Orlando Pirates coach

Orlando Pirates dusted themselves from their loss against Kaizer Chiefs in style, as they walked away with all three points against Swallows FC in the original Soweto derby on Friday.

Pirates coach Jose Riveiro made four changes from the squad that played against Chiefs and they displayed an outstanding performance.

The Bucs coach played with a 3-4-3 formation against Chiefs, which proved costly as Chiefs found room to move behind the back three of Pirates. However, a change of formation against Swallows with a 4-4-2 proved apt. The back four of Deon Hotto, Tapelo Xoki, Sandile Mthethwa and Paseka Mako solidified the defensive lines giving cover for more room to attack Swallows in a counter, with Monnapule Saleng, Thembinkosi Lorch and Kabelo Dlamini charging in front.  

Saleng had the freedom to find free spaces in front of the goal, as he scored a hat-trick to walk away with another man of the match award. Saleng took his goal tally to eight in the Dstv Premiership just a goal behind Bradley Grobler and Peter Shalulile. 

Coach Riveiro touched on the poor performance that his team displayed in their game against Chiefs, which they needed to rectify, and they did so swiftly. The 47-year-old Pirates coach might have found his winning formula with Miguel Timm and Makhehlene Makhaula in the middle of the park. The two midfielders displayed a brilliant performance, their telepathic understanding paid dividends in the middle of the park which allowed Lorch, Dlamini and player of the match Saleng freedom to attack the Swallows defence. 

Riveiro was delighted with the performance that the team displayed. 

“We had a difficult week after our last game, we were not happy with our performance, and the game we played was not us, so like I said before the game we were really looking for a game that we can immediately show the football that we want to play and that we have the capacity that we have showed many times this season but we need or want to be consistent, so yeah, I am glad and happy to see the team fight, especially the aggressiveness we showed in the first half where we lost the ball and the amount of times we controlled the game in the second half, so I have to say I am satisfied with the performance tonight,” Riveiro said post-match on Friday. 

The Pirates coach will hope to maintain their momentum when they play against Venda in their next game in the Nedbank Cup. The Buccaneers supporters will hope that the coach keeps the same players in because it has shown that this is the winning formula.

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