Orlando Pirates not ruling out dropping ‘freaky goal’ goalkeeper

Jose Riveiro, coach of Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro, has not ruled out dropping goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane for the MTN8 final on Saturday against AmaZulu, following his howler in the Soweto Derby that handed fierce rivals Kaizer Chiefs victory.

Riveiro yesterday refused to be drawn into committing to keep faith with the 36-year-old goalkeeper when the Buccaneers chase their fourth MTN8 medal, and to quickly bury the ghost of the past weekend.

“I have four keepers in the squad, Kopano (Thuntsane), Sipho (Chaine), Siyabonga (Mpontshane) and Richard (Ofori). All of them are going to train this week as usual. At the end of the week, we are going to have to make a decision about which one will play this game,” he said.

Mponsthane had been in fine form before being caught off guard in the Soweto Derby. Amakhosi midfielder Yusuf Maart’s sensational match winner in the 1-0 victory over Pirates, has dominated talk among football fans all week. Maart noticed Mpontshane way off his line, and unleashed the stunner from his own half, that sailed over the usually reliable goalkeeper.

Crucially, the wonder goal ended the Bucs good run, that included a 3-0 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns, at a time when they would have wanted to face AmaZulu this weekend, brimful of confidence.

Riveiro said the past week has been that of introspection for the whole team, about what went wrong at a sold out FNB last weekend.

“As usual, we had to sit down and analyse the reasons that did not allow us to get a good result in our last match. Obviously when you don’t get a good result, you go deeper because you are angry and disappointed. It is because we want to change the situation as soon as possible,” he said.

The Spaniard, who earned his coaching stripes at Celta Vigo, is however confident that the Soweto giants will do the necessary work this week, to win their first silverware of the season.

“We are all professionals, from the coaches to the players, and we know what we have to do,“ he said.

Riveiro Jose coach of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Sekhukhune United and Olando Pirates held at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on 4 October 2022 © Kabelo/BackpagePix