Orlando Pirates head coach, Jose Riveiro believes the game between his side and Mamelodi Sundowns was balanced, until the Buccaneers were reduced to ten men, after Tapelo Xoki received a red card as a result of a malicious tackle on Haashim Domingo.
Bafana Ba Style put on a masterclass show to humble the Sea Robbers with a 4-0 scoreline, to hand Rhulani Mokwena his first trophy as sole head. Siphelele Mkhulise, Grant Kekana, and Cassius Mailula (twice) were goal-scorers for the Tshwane giants.
Riveiro blamed the sending-off of Xoki as the main factor for their failure of executing the game plan, but was still proud of his charges.
“Much more difficult, and not only the result but the fatigue, one player less, so it became almost impossible even in the second half to come back,” Riveiro told SuperSport TV after the game.
“I’m proud of my team, the players, the way they fought in the second half in the most complicated thing, their numerical superiority, after playing one game just one hour before”.
Asked what he would have done differently if things were to be reversed, he said he would do “nothing” differently, and went on to disagree that the opponents created more opportunities than his side.
“No, I don’t agree, I think the beginning of the game was very slow, the rhythm. We knew it would take time for us to start working again after a 45-minute break or one-hour break. We got a red card and that was a moment after the red we lost control of the situation,” Riveiro added.
“We’re talking about an excellent team in front of us, they took advantage very soon, very easily and we lost the game at that moment. I think the game was 50/50, obviously, we couldn’t face the game as we would like with one player less, but I didn’t see so much difference after that five, ten minutes in the first half.”