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Orlando Pirates didn't struggle in 'crazy' Mamelodi Sundowns MTN8 semi-final - Riveiro's feeling 'lucky'

18:36 GMT+3 02/10/2022
Jose Riveiro, Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has expressed relief they “didn’t suffer” in Saturday’s draw against Mamelodi Sundowns.
  • The two giants cancelled each other in the first MTN8 semi-final
  • Pirates coach feeling lucky to be involved in such a big match
  • Potentially stormy second leg to decide who proceeds to the final

WHAT HAPPENED? The two sides played out a 0-0 draw in the MTN8 semi-final, first leg match at Orlando Stadium. With defending champions Sundowns appearing ruthless in big matches, notably beating Kaizer Chiefs in a Premier Soccer League match earlier in the season, the Bucs coach has much to say after matching South Africa's best side.

WHAT THEY SAID: “I think we managed quite well in the first half in the way we wanted to approach the game, controlling our opponents,” said Riveiro as per Times Live.

“I think that was quite all right but of course, there’s always small adjustments and situations where they can create some trouble because they have a lot of quality. But we didn’t suffer at all I think in the first half.

“But then we managed to control again and well. With the last minutes, with the fatigue, emotions and substitutions it was a different game. It was a bit crazy sometimes but we finished with a feeling we were very close to getting more advantage. But then we managed to control again and well. With the last minutes, with the fatigue, emotions and substitutions it was a different game. It was a bit crazy sometimes but we finished with a feeling we were very close to getting more advantage

“But it always makes me feel optimistic about the future and I don’t feel unlucky. I feel lucky in actual fact to have the possibility to play these types of games."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: After emerging unscathed from Saturday’s battle, Pirates need a scoring draw to proceed to the final while Sundowns need to win in front of their home fans.

STORY IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR RIVEIRO AND PIRATES? Pirates will now play four league games before meeting Sundowns in the second leg. They are now preparing to meet Sekhukhune United in their next match before fixtures against KwaZulu-Natal teams Richards Bay, AmaZulu and Golden Arrows. They then take their battle against Sundowns to Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.