While Richard Ofori is more experienced, having represented his country and played regular football in the Dstv Premiership from his days with Maritzburg United, not a lot can be said about Sipho Chaine.
Signed from Chippa United to replace Wayne Sandilands, Chaine might have not expected to make an early impact at Orlando Pirates.
But an injury to Ofori, and Mpontshane’s occasional blunders have seen the 26-year-old getting an early chance to prove himself between the sticks for Amabhakaniya.
How has he done so far?
Except for the costly mistake he made against Mamelodi Sundowns that led to Cassius Mailula’s goal, Chaine has done well.
His distribution is excellent, and he is comfortable with the ball at his feet.
With Orlando Pirates looking to play more from the back, as evidenced by their approach against Downs, Chaine might become a vital part of their build up play, as well as the ball circulation phase.
He fits the profile of a modern goalkeeper, who is not just a shot stopper, but an integral part of the team in various phases of play.
“We’re running and working with the intention to be a team which is trying to play in possession with 11 players and out of possession with 11 players as well, that is the objective,” Riveiro said when asked by iDiski Times if Chaine fits his tactical plan.
“We really need to…, especially against teams like this [Sundowns], we need to count and use the goalkeeper like a football player when we’re in possession and we try to do it, it doesn’t matter who is in goal.
“I think… no, I know when we play the MTN8 first leg here in Orlando, we all agreed we dominated the game as well with the ball from the back and Richard Ofori was playing. We did it in a different way, we tried to use the strengths we have on the field.
“As you said, we have different profiles in that position and we tried to get better use of them when they are on the field. All of them have great levels to be Pirates keepers and we keep working on it.”
But…. Does Ofori really fit the modern goalkeeper profile?
Ofori has his strengths. He commands his area well, with his physical presence giving him an advantage especially when it comes to ariel duels.
He communicates well with his defense, and possesses some much needed leadership qualities in a goalkeeper.
In one vs one situations, his big frame means he is not easily beatable.
All in all, Ofori is a good goalkeeper, but not really a type of a keeper you’d like to rely on with the ball at his feet, he is more of a shot stopper than a ball playing keeper.
When it comes to the way Riveiro wants to play, Ofori is not his man.
So Chaine it is?
If Riveiro wants to play the way he played against Sundowns, than Chaine is his man.
Even Rulani Mokwena, one of the most notable proponents of modern football is impressed with Chaine.
“I think Chaine makes a big difference in the profile of Pirates. He gives them an extra man and I understand a little bit the anxiety that comes with that [a keeper playing from the back] because it’s not normal,” Mokwena said.
“That was the biggest difference today…it gave them very good build-up possibilities and they could build from the back. Chaine was a very incredible difference if you compare to all the other games [Sundowns played against Pirates].”
Yes he made a mistake, that is how you pay your school fees in football, but he also does some excellent work.
Remember his secondary assist for Erasmus’s goal against Stellembosch? Yes, that sublime long range pass.
There is more where that came from.