Orlando Pirates coach Riveiro breaks silence on Makgopa injury

Evidence Makgopa, Bafana Bafana, November 2021Backpagepix

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro says new striker Evidence Makgopa is still injured.

While not giving a timeframe about when Makgopa could be expected back, Riveiro confirmed the forward is facing fitness issues.

The injury has delayed the striker from making his Buccaneers debut.

“He is injured since, I’m not sure, but he is injured,” said Riveiro as per Soccer Laduma before he declined to reveal the nature of Makgopa’s injury, saying, “that’s private information I can’t.”

Makgopa was last involved in a competitive match when Bafana Bafana played against Morocco in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in June.

He then joined Pirates’ pre-season camp at the beginning of July before getting injured.

In his absence, Pirates have been struggling in front of goals, managing just three goals in four Premier Soccer League matches.

Their goals have come from Binevenu Eva Nga, centre-back Nkosinathi Sibisi and Deon Hotto who has been converted into a wing-back this term.

Despite Eva Nga grabbing the goal in their opening match against Swallows FC, he has been subjected to booing by Pirates fans.

Another striker Kwame Peprah is yet to find the back of the net while Zakhele Lepasa has not been a regular.

While Pirates’ strikeforce remains a concern, Riveiro has noted some positives in the team’s defence especially after Wednesday’s 1-0 win away at Royal AM.

The Spaniard has even had the comfort of benching Bandile Shandu and Paseka Mako who were some of the team’s outstanding players last season.

“Plenty of positive things, very professional performance here tonight [yesterday]. I liked our defensive work today, it was incredible,” Riveiro told SuperSport TV.

“Not happy with the way we did when we recovered the ball, we should have spent more time keeping possession in the second half and not suffer so much.

“But even though we were defending a bit lower than what we want I don't remember any single clear chance of a very good team like Royal AM. So credit to our team, our coaching staff, the players, everyone because today was beautiful to see the guys fighting this way.”

Pirates now prepare to visit SuperSport United for Sunday’s league game.

Makgopa's injury

Is Makgopa what Pirates are missing upfront right now?